website design intranet and extranet design graphic design logo development digital branding user interface design information architecture rich media
Design Science We understand 'design' as a process that takes a wide view of its subject. We are more than graphic designers, more than interface designers, more than brand designers. We are perhaps better described as "design scientists"; trying to systematically understand everything that relates to a project. In some ways we are like ecologists, who are trying to understand the environment that a particular "organism" fits into. Only by understanding the 'whole' context of a design can we achieve the solution we are looking for.
Who are 'they', and what are 'they' looking for? To start, we have to answer some very basic questions about the commercial 'environment' of the client's business. We ask a lot of questions about 'end users'. Who is the end user of the design? Who is the design actually for? What does this end user want; what is their mission? What are they searching for? What does the end user bring to their encounter with the design? What is the overall marketplace that the design has to exist in? How does this larger business context influence our work? And of course, what is the competition like? Working from the answers to these questions, we design for function and utility, as well as for look and feel. In the end the design is only a success if it 'works' for real customers in a real market place.
Why is all your work so different? We are often told that our work looks very different from one client to another, and that we don't seem to have a signature "style", or a "look" that identifies us; we are proud of this, because it is a natural result of our process. In general, we only work for one client in a competitive 'marketplace'. Marketplaces, like ecosystems, are always unique. When we do our job right we make a client look like the "best of breed' in their unique marketplace environment; we want them to stand out, but to also look like they belong to their world. This one-client-per-market approach inevitably gives our work a lot of variety.
Collaboration is key In all cases we are designing as part of the client's team; trying to find a solution to a communications problem that is attached to a business, that operates in a marketplace, that is part of an industry. It's a lot to take into account, but we think it is the minimum to keep in mind as we design.
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