Want to Piss Off a Web Designer? Ask This 1 Question.

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Partner & Chief Creative Officer
Jul 17, 2015

The visual design phase of any web project should be the easiest. Theoretically.

By that point, the project team has agreed on the project goals, documented the functional requirements, created the new site architecture, mapped the (hopefully improved) user experience and finalized the content. The design phase involves applying the visual identity of a brand on top of an already constructed and approved blueprint for the new web product. Nothing more.

But, shocker, it's not a perfect world, and we've learned this process doesn't always pan out as smoothly as we'd like – especially when it comes to visual design.

In fact, there's one question clients seem to ask more frequently than any other that can make a web app's visual design phase extremely uncomfortable for everyone involved. It's a question that's guaranteed to get a rise out of our design team – hell, any design team.

We really like [insert brand]'s website. Can our new site be like [insert brand]'s?

Look, there's nothing wrong with drawing inspiration from other cool websites. It's practically required nowadays. Pretty much everything on the web is influenced by something else.

But we have to draw a line in the sand when it comes to that question, and for good reason.

Your brand is your own and no one else's. Not Starbucks's. Not Nike's. And most certainly not Disney's. Does an oversized mouse wearing Air Jordans serve your customers chai tea lattes at your store? Didn't think so.

(On second thought, if that does happen at your store, let's talk. That sounds awesome.)

From the very start of every project, our web designers dig deep to understand not only your brand colors but also your business model, how you make money, who your users are and what you want them to accomplish when they come to your site or use your app. Then they create a customized design solution that takes all of those things into account, along with the project budget.

Anything else (including jacking your favorite website entirely) would be doing a huge disservice to your users and your company.

And there's just no question about that.

We're ready to bring your brand online – the right way. Shall we grab coffee?

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