Web Design Deep Dive

#Design & Inspiration Blue Laser Digital on February 7, 2019

Brandon and Savannah

The talented design team at BLD is comprised of the creative geniuses, Brandon and Savannah. Every day, their mission is to create and design things that stand out and help grow and achieve the goals of businesses in the Columbus, Ohio area. We pulled them away from Photoshop and Illustrator to pick their brains on all things design, their experiences, and what drives their passion to help grow local businesses.

Q: What is your favorite part of designing a new site?

Brandon: My favorite part of designing a new site is showing the client what we’ve done and getting that “Oh my God” reaction. Taking someone’s online business from the bottom to the top is a very rewarding experience because you’ve truly helped someone achieve a major goal.

Savannah: Honestly, my favorite part is when the site goes live. I love the designing it too, obviously, but it’s always amazing seeing everyone’s ideas come together to create an experience that is beautiful.

Q: What was the first website you ever designed?

Brandon: The first website I ever designed was for a CPA that went out of business before we even launched the site. This was sometime in 1999 when I was in 9th grade.

Savannah: My first portfolio site, which has long been revised to what it is now. I originally used Muse, which was an Adobe program that worked like InDesign for websites. I thought it was pretty amazing at the time and felt accomplished to have my own website.

Q: What’s the one design mistake you’ve seen that gives you nightmares?

Brandon: Anytime the fonts Papyrus or Comic Sans are used (Cue the SNL skit with Ryan Gosling).

Savannah: Inconsistencies in design, a random typeface thrown in or a sudden switch in the layout…these mistakes stand out like a sore thumb and often ruin the rest of the design.

Q: Where do you go for inspiration if you need a creative boost?

Brandon: Depending on what I’m designing, I’ll check out Pinterest, Awwwards.com, webdesign-inspiration.com, and Google. I also find inspiration in just about anything you can imagine. I always keep a look out for something fresh.

Savannah: I often go to the sites Brand New (By Under Consideration), Awwwards, and Site Inspire for inspiration and to see design trends. Often though, a creative boost can come from walking away from a project for a while and coming back to it later. Sometimes we get burnt out trying to force ideas to happen, and creativity doesn’t work that way. It needs space.

Q: What made you become a web designer?

Brandon: I have always been artistic in some way, shape or form. As a kid, I wanted to become an animator for Disney, but after my parents got our first computer in 1996, that dream quickly faded. I had my first experiences on the internet and knew from that point I’d make a career designing websites and never looked back.

Savannah: Digital design was something that I didn’t have as much experience in as print, but I wanted to learn more about it and challenge myself. I’m hungry to learn and grow as a designer. Continuous learning drives my passion and helps me help our clients. It’s what I like the most about what I do.

Q: What is web design to you?

Brandon: To me, web design is not about just creating a website; it’s about knowing a goal and how to achieve it through creativity and communication. It’s generating enough emotion to get you to click that button. It’s developing a look and feel that can make a mom-and-pop shop look like a Fortune 500 company. To me, web design is about honing a skill that can be utilized to help people succeed. To me, web design…it’s my passion.

Savannah: Web design is a focus of graphic design…the same fundamentals go into designing anything. The designer just thinks about the interaction and experience differently.

Q: What is responsive web design? Who can benefit from it?

Brandon: Responsive web design is the ability of a website to resize itself accordingly to each device in which it’s displayed. Everyone benefits from it, and those who do not have a responsive website are penalized by Google for not allowing users to have the best possible mobile experience.

Savannah: Responsive web design is when a website seamlessly transitions to different screen sizes (Do not confuse this with adaptive web design which uses specific break points to switch between screen sizes, making the page jump in size). IT IS ESSENTIAL TO HAVE A SITE THAT UTILIZES ONE IF NOT BOTH TECHNIQUES. Most people these days use phones instead of a computer to go online, and they don’t have the patience to stay on a site that they can’t digest easily.

Q: What makes a good website design?

Brandon: A good website is engaging, delivers content specific to what the user is searching for, is responsive and loads fast.

Savannah: A website that keeps in mind the user experience and the story that the company wants the user to go through. This website also uses a balance of great design and best SEO practices to help the site look appealing and rank on Google.

Q: How to choose a web design company?

Brandon: Anyone searching for a web design company really needs to find a company that has the capacity to do everything vital to successfully designing, developing and marketing a website. Having one company tackle all the necessities not only makes their life easier, but makes everything consistent throughout the entire lifespan of their website and marketing efforts.

Savannah: When choosing an agency to create a website design, a company should know their budget, the story the site needs to tell, the features they want and sites they like and don’t like. They should also ask themselves how they want to approach SEO; do they want a separate marketing firm or design agency that has an SEO team to handle the content and ranking after the site is launched? From there, they need to research design agencies in the area and meet with them to find out which agency will best fit their needs.

Q: What skills are needed to be a web designer?

Brandon: To be a web designer, you must know the difference between good and bad design, understand color theory and know the importance of typography. Communication skills and the ability to manage time and take criticism are also important.

Savannah: The list of skills to be a web designer starts with designer skills: fundamentals of design and best design practices. The designer should also understand how a user interacts with different digital platforms, the story the site design should tell and the experience the user should have with the site design.

Web designers should also have basic coding skills. Knowing basic coding helps the designer understand more about what they are designing and how it will affect the development of the site later on.

For more web design talk or to learn more about our services, contact us today.