One of our latest websites, designed for Life Coach Kerry Sutcliffe, has been another one of those projects we really enjoy being involved in. We met Kerry quite a few years ago now – introduced to us by another longstanding client, Thyme Out Delicatessen – when we designed her husband’s website, for his plumbing business. We keep in touch with clients via our mailouts, and so when Kerry decided it was time for her to get her own business out there, she responded to one of our emails, enquiring about the possibility of us quoting for a website, and possibly a logo/branding. Initial communications were done in early August 2022 and slap bang in the middle of family visiting, so it could have been tricky to get the project off the ground, but as a client, Kerry was a dream. Organised, concise and with great attention to detail and so whatever she sent to us, was extremely clear and enabled a very positive start to the collaboration. Based on her initial ideas, the new logo was designed. This was agreed very quickly, because she was so detailed in her ideas and preferences, meaning that there were very few amends to be done.
We listen to our clients, rather then imposing our ideas on them, and for us, this makes the whole process so much easier. Of course, we advise and make suggestions if we feel that a client is perhaps going in the wrong direction, but essentially it’s YOUR website, not ours and so it is crucial that we take on board what a client wants. Kerry cited elements such as transformation, growth (trees), emerging, flying and with a natural colour palette. She also quoted back to us our mantra of “Less is More”, ticking on one of our biggest boxes. And from the logo/branding, came an initial holding page, as we designed in the background.
The Importance of Timely Feedback
We do understand that providing feedback can be difficult at times, especially if what we have sent you, doesn’t quite chime with what you are seeing in your head. However, without feedback, we cannot move forward. We have had situations – thankfully, very rarely – where a client, for whatever reason, fails to communicate their thoughts effectively or clearly, and so we plough on, assuming all is OK, design-wise. Then, the inevitable happens when it gets close to the end, and changes are asked for. Sometimes quite substantive changes. This means that projects begin to drag on, when they shouldn’t have done. It also means that the client can become a bit less enthusiastic, because “it is not finished”, and to be honest, we begin to feel pretty disillusioned because it all could have been avoided, had the feedback issue been properly addressed. (And. yes, we do politely chase feedback, but if someone wants to avoid it for whatever reason, then our hands are pretty tied).
But, with Kerry, this wasn’t a problem. She provided constructive feedback, whenever it was requested, often offering further suggestions and ideas, which helped shape the design. She had a very clear of what she wanted and was able to communicate this concisely and clearly, so that there were no misunderstandings. When she felt that something was not quite right, she was able to explain why – in contrast to a client who simply told us, “I hate it” but couldn’t tell us why, as everything was exactly as she had asked for. Once we were able to explain that perhaps she hated it, because her vision wasn’t actually that inspiring – and that she was actually quite a rude person – that was the end of that particular relationship.
Because of the nature of Kerry’s business,and client confidentiality, it wasn’t really appropriate to have original photos, so working with her, we selected stock images, which we think haven’t been overused elsewhere. The choice of imagery was well considered as we wanted them to complement the sections they were assigned to, and so this also involved communication. Similarly, key quotes were used across the site. We’re not usually big fans of “inspirational quotes” but sometimes they are right and necessary, to immediately illustrate a point or a concept – and if a Life Coach’s website isn’t one of those places, then I’m not sure where is…
How Long Will It Take?
This is a question we are always asked. Although an e-commerce website will take longer than an information website, for example, the actual time it all takes, goes back to what we’ve said previously. If feedback is timely and as clear as possible, we have a better chance of completing a project to the agreed timescale. Kerry came to us at the end of July with her very first email, and wanted the website online by the time she attended a conference at the beginning of September. This was achieved. But it’s not always like this and when clients – who we know are busy and so understand delays etc – don’t get back to us for a long time, despite repeated requests, we have to move onto other projects. This then causes delays and frustration for both parties – but it doesn’t have to be like this. If you think of your website as your “shop window”, you’d want that window to look as pretty and inviting and working its magic for your business, as soon as possible. And that’ll only happen if you communicate with the sign-writer/window dresser and address issues asap. Same with website designers.
If you think we can help you with your design, and you like the sound of the way we work, why not get in touch?