Creating a website for a client can be the ultimate way of letting the creative juices flow. The majority of the time, a client is more focused on copy and artwork, and fails to realize just how important the UX/UI on their website will be.
Roles: UI, UX, Copy, Content, Production/Development
The conception phase of a website is a key moment in figuring out the clients vision. Sometimes, clients know exactly what they want, while the majority of the time, it’s the designers job to show them “what they want”. I always research my clients needs:
What type of business do they have?
Who are they trying to appeal to?
Do they already have a color scheme for their business/logo(s)?
Do they have a specific art style or “feel” in mind?
What is the purpose/goal of the website?
Continuing with the minimalistic approach is always a great option for clients whose main focus is to showcase products/work. The user coming to the website either already knows the client or is wanting to get to know the client. It’ll be rare to get a random visitor for a website which houses creative work/portfolio, and/or products. The UX/UI needs to be clear cut so regardless of who visits the site, they can navigate without any issues and enjoy the content they’re looking at.
Nothing is worse than having a cluttered website, with too many links and options. The visitor can easily get overwhelmed and annoyed enough to leave the site to find whatever they’re looking for elsewhere.
When designing the layout, logo, copy, and UX/UI of RISE Physical Therapy, I believed the right approach was to get straight to the point. After researching hundreds of physical therapist websites, it was clear the typical visitor who was looking for a physical therapist wanted to see 2 things:
The physical therapist(s) background/knowledge.
What services they offer.
What the majority of physical therapists had wrong with their website was the amount of copy they had, the lack of important information, and no organization of their content. Most sites focused more on the physical therapists extra-curricular actives and random stock images, instead of really showing and talking about what they do.
For RISE, I focused solely on the physical therapists background and services offered. Having that as the main point made it easier to design “around him”. There was extra-curricular activities still included, but it was a secondary feature, not the main. This also allowed the website to flow smoothly and continuously to each section.
The client also knew the direction they wanted regarding art style/feel, as well as colors. They weren’t 100% set on typography but after rounds of revisions, they selected something they felt was best for their overall feel. RISE wanted to be inclusive of all ages, backgrounds, and activity levels. They didn’t want a visitor to feel put off or feel RISE didn’t have a service they were looking for. The font they selected felt very “sturdy”, but not intimidating, so whether you were a 65 year old looking for rehab for a hip or knee replacement, or you’re an up-and-coming college/pro bound athlete, you would receive the same amount of care with a very tailored approach to recovery, performance enhancement, and overall well-being.
After doing an in-person patient survey and social media poll/survey, 90% of all visitors were satisfied with the ease of navigation, content, and access to all information. The direct result of its informative simplicity resulted with acquiring new patients, and keeping potential patients informed of everything they were looking for. The client was also very satisfied with the site not just because of acquiring new patients, but also because their website stood out compared to the rest.
CONCEPTION - DESIGN - RESULT
When a client knows exactly what they want and how they want it, it makes my job so much easier. For Amusement Park Inc., they already had all artwork, copy, and links ready to go. All that was left was putting it together, and creating a simple indexed navigation. The goal of this specific site was to create an online portfolio for potential clients.
For my own two websites (BSI & BD), I knew exactly what I wanted and it was just a matter of creating it. I wanted a calm typography with color to match. I also wanted a very clean and modern design, with a bit of edginess. On my personal website, I have 3 main navigation links on the homepage. When the user places the cursor over the page link(s), it will either launch a video or image. I wanted all aspects of the site to be interactive and not just the pages themselves. As for my business site, there wasn’t much needed since its main purpose was to have basic info and links to my products, and a way for visitors to contact me. I also chose the typography and colors based off my company logo. I love the look and feel of combining modern with vintage. If done right, it can be a great combination.
The final result of all 3 sites was something very clean, straight to the point, and easy to navigate.