What do you see as the positives in working so closely with a design agency?
The camaraderie and collaborative effect on productivity that comes from working closely with a studio is hard to replicate in an isolated or remote working situation. Working together as a team also naturally progresses into a more personal involvement in a project which results in better outcomes. The ability to also work in close proximity and not isolated from the client allows you to have a better understanding of the client’s needs which further improves the quality.
“If a client can understand their own business and offering, and express them succinctly through branding, then designing and developing a website that achieves the necessary outcomes is attainable.”
What preparation should our clients be doing in order to provide a clear and considered brief to their agency?
One of the most important items to have is a well defined brand and offering, as a website is an extension of these. If a client can understand their own business and offering, and express them succinctly through branding, then designing and developing a website that achieves the necessary outcomes is attainable.
Content, or an understanding of what content they would like to promote is also very helpful. Other details like current audience or projected audience are also helpful but can be discovered and workshopped through User Persona Research and User Story Mapping.
Not everyone understands the true value in building a custom site, especially when there are so many functional DIY options out there. What are the key things that justify a higher price point for a custom site, and why are they so important to invest in?
DIY options are very appropriate for many situations, sometimes an offering doesn’t need to push the boundaries or is still at a stage where budget doesn’t allow for a custom site.
There are so many options available these days even a very small business can be represented online. That said, custom sites allow you to explore unique options that aren’t available to all businesses, this can give you an edge or allow your brand to be expressed in the most succinct way possible online. Being unique and celebrating those unique traits allows you to differentiate yourself from your competition.
Are we going to see a major shift in the digital landscape in the next 5 years?
The digital landscape is always changing and day to day it changes in many ways. From hardware to software and social to ethical. Looking into the future I believe virtual reality is going to be used more in brand experience as well as augmented reality.
Companies are already creating new ways of interfacing with computers and the world and some have already overcome some large hurdles in the creation of brain-computer interfaces. We’ll also see more refined and reliable versions of existing interfaces, such as voice. There are likely going to be large artificial intelligence and machine learning advances in the next five years, which could have far reaching effects on society and even design and marketing.