There are more than 1.24 billion websites in the world. That’s a lot of web pages competing for peoples’ attention. But the good news for anyone looking to stand out from the crowd online is that not all of those sites have been created equally.
You see, some of those 1.24 billion sites are outdated, others are difficult to use, disorganized, or downright ugly. On the other hand, some of those billion-plus sites will jump off of the screen, bringing brands to life by creating engaging and inherently interesting experiences for users.
The difference is creativity.
Creativity turns good websites into memorable experiences. It helps to elevate your brand, create recall, and establish your presence within your particular market. Even if your site is performing well, delivering leads and converting customers, if it’s not grabbing peoples’ attention and building your brand, then it’s only operating at 50%.
So how do you ensure that your organization’s website is reaching its full potential?
Creativity is key to making connections
From design to user experience (UX), creativity is at the centre of every single element that makes up a great website. It is a key ingredient to ensure that your web presence stands out from the crowd.
The problem is that by its very nature, creativity is somewhat intangible. A combination of intelligence, imagination, instinct and experience, creativity is almost impossible to teach and even harder to distil into an easily digestible blog post.
As a result, instead of telling you about the importance of creativity we thought we’d show it to you.
A case study that’s close to home
Within the modern digital ecosystem, your organization’s website is one of the most important tools in your marketing arsenal. It’s also one of the most personal. That’s why we didn’t just want to use any case study to showcase the importance of creativity. Instead, we dug out a real-life example from our vaults that’s particularly close to home for us as an agency.
That example is one that has become known as “the website that never was” within our agency. It was actually created for Drive Digital, one of the agencies that merged to became Major Tom last year, so it’s a project we feel particularly passionate about.
The site eventually got mothballed as we transitioned into the new brand, but it’s still a great website. So instead of letting it collect digital cobwebs as an unopened file on our desktops, we decided to thrust it into the limelight. To use it to showcase the importance of creativity when it comes to building a site that will stand out from the crowd.
If it ain’t broke, do fix it
Before we even started building this new site it was important that we asked ourselves why we wanted it in the first place.
After all, the existing site we were using was still delivering results and generating some excellent feedback from visitors. But we knew it could still be better. We wanted to improve our brand presence and achieve better brand recall for Drive Digital.
It’s an important takeaway for anyone who is thinking about updating their digital presence. All too often we see clients who wait until their website breaks or looks outdated before they even consider upgrading it. But given that your website is the biggest representative of your brand that you possess, why would you wait for it to fall behind before updating it? It’s also worth noting that websites aren’t a quick fix. Therefore, waiting until yours starts to impact on your bottom line could lead to months of poor performance, lost business and potential damage to your reputation.
That’s why we believe that your website should be updated every few years. This not only means that you’re able to harness ever-evolving technologies but also ensures that your brand message never goes out of date.
A brand is about so much more than a logo
A brand is who you are, what you do, and why you do it. It’s why customers care about you, employees work for you and why competitors aspire to be you. It’s what sets you apart from the crowd.
These were all ideas that we wanted to evoke through our new website. However, as a web design and development agency, we also wanted to showcase the skills and ideas that set us apart from our competition.
Great visuals were a must for this site. But as well as looking great we wanted our visuals to communicate the ideas and emotions people would associate with Drive Digital through every aspect of the digital experience.
From UX to navigation, everything was defined by our brand, and designed to evoke the creativity, personality, and professionalism we wanted people to associate with Drive Digital.
As you can see in the animations, we took a key element of the brand – the slash in Drive’s logo – and utilized it in different ways across the design. For example, it was weaved throughout the site and used for both page templates and to animate transitions.
This may sound like a small detail but it adds up to make a big difference. Showing off our creativity and creating a memorable brand experience. This effect is perhaps best shown in the case study pages below.
From the page layout to the design choices, the end result is an experience that doesn’t just communicate our key values, it stands out from the crowd.
Creativity that works
Of course, we could have built the most beautiful looking site in the world, but it would all have been for nothing if it didn’t actually work.
It’s something that all too often gets overlooked as organizations focus on form over function.
We wanted the redesigned Drive website to reflect our brand at every opportunity. But we also wanted to make the experience as enjoyable as possible for visitors. We made conscious decisions on elements such as bold headings, typography and good use of white space to make the redesigned site easily scannable. We also worked extensively on simplifying navigation to produce a seamless user experience.
Working in tandem with creative design choices, the end result was a website that looked great and worked even better.
Making the site easier to maintain
Finding ways to streamline processes and simplify the maintenance of the site is important when revamping a website. After all, having a site with a great user experience but is cumbersome to update isn’t beneficial for the other users – the maintenance team.
On the existing Drive site, each case study was custom built. So although each project was displayed beautifully, they were time-consuming to create. We, therefore, looked to rectify this by creating a case study template for the new site.
We used creativity to craft an exceptional template that would highlight the work and results achieved. Most importantly, the template design followed a certain layout but didn’t appear repetitive by leveraging graphics and the client brand’s colours.
What does your site say about you?
Though the redesigned Drive Digital website never actually went live, we can all learn from the thinking that went into its development. At its heart, this project was all about changing peoples’ perception. After all, our existing website worked, but the way it represented us as a brand could have been improved. A such, we decided to change the conversation.
So next time you look at your organization’s website don’t ask yourself if it’s working, ask what it says about your brand. Be honest with yourself, and if you don’t like the answer then maybe it’s time to inject a little creativity of your own.