The Role of Informative Architecture in Web Design

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In web design, information architecture is the process of logically organizing content so that it can be easily explored by users.  A lot of success on the web comes down to how easily your users (and search engines) can effectively navigate and use your site’s content. Additionally, successful information architecture isn’t a “one size fits all” solution. You can’t simply apply the so called “best practices” of information architecture to every web business and expect similar results. Each business has a unique value proposition, unique customer needs, and a unique way of delivering that value to their customer. This is a huge part of user interface design and often overlooked by many companies when they seek design services.

Here are two Project6 case studies that highlight the importance of information architecture in web design:

The California Perinatal Quality Care Collaborative (CPQCC)

Project6 had the pleasure of redesigning the CPQCC website. From an information architecture perspective, the CPQCC program is massive (they represent over 90% of all neonatal intensive care provided in California). Project6 planned and developed the CPQCC’s new site from the ground up. Our mission was to organize the CPQCC’s wealth of content into an easily usable and up to date resource of online tools, announcements, publications, news, events, and awards. The new information architecture not only beautifully showcased the sheer scope of CPQCC’s work in their sector, but it also enabled the organization to better fulfill their mission.

Sindeo

Sindeo also required expert information architecture, but in a very different way than CPQCC. Instead of organizing a library of content into a usable web resource (like CPQCC), Project6 was tasked with designing a website that clearly told the story of Sindeo’s unique approach to mortgage lending. This required creating and organizing engaging content that allows the viewer to experience the positive feelings of home ownership and how Sindeo could help them achieve it.

Is your design firm an expert information architecture?

Founded in 2001, Project6 Design is an award-winning graphic design firm committed to using intuitive design to shape brands and solve complex usability problems.  By collaborating with clients, we help them portray their brand’s story and communicate it in a clear and compelling way.  For high-quality brand, print or web design services, contact the top San Francisco design agency.

The Importance of Print Design in 2017

Print Design

Project6 believes that high quality print collateral and design is more important today than ever before.  Today, people are constantly bombarded with marketing messages on the web and in print. Competition is fierce and the landscape is filled with companies fighting noisily for their share of the eyeballs. To stand out in 2017, there just is no substitute for impressive print design. As more business moves online, customers will value well-designed print collateral even more.

The Value of Print Design for Web Businesses

Effective print design extends your brands reach and broadens your user base. However, many web businesses are underestimating the value that having a clean, consistent, unique print design can bring to their business.  Whether you like it or not, your print collateral speaks volumes about your business. When your print collateral and brand identity are synced, it allows you to consistently speak to your audience in a clear and compelling way. Examples of areas where web business may benefit from high quality print collateral are:

  • Direct Mail
  • Reports + Presentations
  • Brochures
  • Stationary
  • Booth Designs
  • Conference Materials
  • Etc. . .

If you’ve spent a small fortune building an impeccable digital brand, why not reinforce that digital message through real-world print collateral? Why create an amazing web experience for a customer, but fail to continue that experience through when they receive your products or collateral in the mail? At Project6, we use print design, as well as many other tools, as another way to influence the way people think about your brand.

Project6 Design, founded in 2001, is an award-winning graphic design firm committed to using intuitive design to shape brands and solve complex usability problems. We collaborate with clients to help them portray their brand’s story and to communicate it in a clear and compelling way.  For the best brand, print or web design services, contact Project6, the leading San Francisco design agency.

Simple Design Strategies for Effective Homepage Design

Ecommerce Website Design

The importance of a well-designed homepage cannot be overstated. A great homepage must both capture the eyes and minds of your potential targets. While many companies strive for dynamic homepages with the latest and greatest flashy design, many companies forget that their homepage is also a powerful communication tool. At Project6, our UI/UX experts strive to create homepage designs that both attract and keep customers. Here are two vital communication opportunities that businesses miss when designing their homepage.

Who are you and what do you offer?

While this may seem like an obvious suggestion, many homepages fail to adequately communicate who they are, what they do, and the benefits of their products and services on their homepage. While a homepage is a great location display your awards, testimonials, and other news, its main goal is to quickly communicate your brand’s core value proposition. At Project6, we design homepages that speak volumes. For our client Sindeo, we designed a beautiful website with clean design and crisp communication of the company’s offerings.

Where do you want your visitors to go?

Don’t just rely on your site’s main navigation to usher your users around—even on the homepage. A great homepage design (and page design in general) is one that provides paths to the most important parts of your website/business. We kept this in mind when designing Kigali’s philanthropic website. Even though the cornerstone pages are listed in the main navigation (like “Why Cooling,” “K-CEP Windows,” and “Insights”) we also detailed these sections on the homepage for further clarity and attention.

Project6 Design, founded in 2001, is an award-winning graphic design firm committed to using intuitive design to shape brands and solve complex usability problems. We collaborate with clients to help them portray their brand’s story and to communicate it in a clear and compelling way.  For the best brand, print or web design services, contact Project6, the leading San Francisco design agency.

Project6 Redesigns California State Bar Website

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The Project6 team takes great pride in our ability to make information easily accessible and usable for our clients and their users. Working with The State Bar of California, our team went to work to design a new, accessible, and transparent State Bar mobile + desktop website for California attorneys and citizens. The site aims to help provide easier access to information on how to file a complaint against an attorney and other attorney-related resources. Here’s a rundown of some of the overall website improvements we made:

Better Resources for the Public

Working with the State Bar of California, Project6 designed a public resource section that makes it easier for Californians to file a complaint against an attorney, identify and avoid attorney fraud, obtain information on attorney disciplinary history, and access all of these features in either English, Spanish, Korean, Vietnamese, and Russian languages.

Better Resources for Attorneys in California

Project6 also worked with the State Bar to build better resources for attorneys and prospective attorneys in the state of California. Prospective attorneys now have easier access to registration tools and information pertaining to the bar exam. Licensed California attorneys now have control over their attorney records, view pro bono legal opportunities, access to attorney codes of conduct and ethics rules, and obtain information related to fees, licensing, and MCLE requirements online.

Greater Information Transparency for All

The State Bar of California has also improved their site to increase access to justice for all. Californians can now view detailed information on the State Bar’s efforts to promote diversity and yearly legal aid contribution, information on how to access the legal system, and contact information for various legal organizations recognized by the State Bar.

Project6 Design, founded in 2001, is an award-winning graphic design firm committed to using intuitive design to shape brands and solve complex usability problems. We collaborate with clients to help them portray their brand’s story and to communicate it in a clear and compelling way.  For the best brand, print or web design services, contact Project6, the leading San Francisco design agency.

 

Drupal Web Design

Do Design Awards Matter?

Does it matter if your design firm has won any prestigious design awards?

The short answer: It depends.

The long answer: It depends and here’s why…

A legitimate design award is one of many proof signals that businesses can use to determine if a designer’s skills are up for the task. However, not all design awards are created equal. In today’s internet age, just about anyone can create and market their own brand of “design award.” As the winner of many prestigious design awards, here’s Project6’s take on what makes a legitimate design award:

How competitive is the award?

Check to see how many designers were actually in the running for the award. Did 5 designers apply or 500 designers? Is the competition accepting public entries or were the nominees selected by a panel of experts? The Davey Awards, for example, is a prestigious award from the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts that received nearly 4,000 entries of the finest creative work from the best small agencies, firms, and companies worldwide.

Who are the judges and sponsors?

Also, make sure that the judges and sponsors of the awards are legitimate industry professionals (not just bloggers and “best of” lists). The Horizon Interactive Award’s judging process, for example, involves a combination of an in-house awards advisory panel, an end user panel, and an international panel of industry professionals. The Davey Awards, on the other hand, is judged and overseen by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts (AIVA), a 700+ member organization of leading professionals from various disciplines of the visual arts dedicated to embracing progress and the evolving nature of traditional and interactive media.

Founded in 2001, Project6 Design is an award-winning graphic design firm committed to using intuitive design to shape brands and solve complex usability problems.  By collaborating with clients, we help them portray their brand’s story and communicate it in a clear and compelling way.  For high-quality brand, print or web design services, contact the top San Francisco design agency.

Integrating Brand Identity

Branding Agency

A great brand identity should clearly communicate your value proposition to potential customers no matter where they encounter it. Here are a few examples of how Project6 integrates brand identity and the benefits our clients experienced as a result:

Zetta

Zetta is a great example of what happens when brand identity and web design are seamlessly integrated. Project6 crafted a new identity for Zetta from the ground up (including new identity, brand design, marketing collateral, trade show booth, and website). A true brand identity is about more than just a logo—it’s about delivering a consistent look and feel of your brand to the customer no matter where they encounter your brand. By creating a set of small and large design rules, we create that consistency. By applying consistent colors, fonts, logos, themes, and icons throughout, Zetta now has a web and print brand identity that is both pleasing to the eye and easily recognizable.

AUL Corp

You may be a leader in your industry, but if your brand identity doesn’t communicate that then you may not keep that position for very long. AUL faced this situation. A clear leader in their industry, but with an old brand message that wasn’t effectively communicating what they stood for. They were in need of a whole new set of marketing tools, sales materials, web design, and product design. We identified the brand’s core strategic positioning factors (like the importance of being human, approachable, transparent, etc.) and invigorated both their website and print collateral with this new identity. The new identity more accurately captures AUL’s true brand character and its position as the leader in the industry.

Founded in 2001, Project6 Design is an award-winning graphic design firm committed to using intuitive design to shape brands and solve complex usability problems.  By collaborating with clients, we help them portray their brand’s story and communicate it in a clear and compelling way.  For high-quality brand, print or web design services, contact the top San Francisco design agency.

 

Make a Big Impact with Minimalist Design

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Modern branding and website design isn’t reserved for the latest tech companies. Case in point: our client, Cahill Construction. Cahill is a 100 year old construction company that wanted to bring some focus to their brand. Contrary to the latest tech companies in San Francisco, Cahill has a long-standing history of impressive work and wanted a simple website, marketing materials, and brand identity to communicate that history effectively. Here’s how Project6 used minimalist design to breathe new life into Cahill’s identity.

Architecture minimalism: Focus on the business value.

Many designers become enamored by the latest design trends and front-end technologies and apply them carte-blanche to their projects. At Project6, we like to use design as a means of drawing the user’s attention to the businesses’ core selling point (value proposition). What good will the latest/greatest design be to a business if it only creates friction between the user and the business objective? With Cahill, instead of “modernizing” the site for the sake of design, we improved the website architecture and focused on Cahill’s selling points: their impeccable client history and beautiful images of their amazing construction work.

Information minimalism: simple, clean, and trustworthy.

Ever heard of the phrase, “walk softly, but carry a big stick”? That’s a sentiment lost to many designers. Effective design communicates a business’s authority, trust, and value proposition without having to go overboard. Cahill has over 100 years of client work to talk about, but it was important for Project6 to select the main selling points and only highlight those. This form of minimalism helped to create a unified message that was clear, concise, and easily communicated across the brand’s identity.

Project6 Design, founded in 2001, is an award-winning graphic design firm committed to using intuitive design to shape brands and solve complex usability problems. We collaborate with clients to help them portray their brand’s story and to communicate it in a clear and compelling way.  For the best brand, print or web design services, contact Project6, the leading San Francisco design agency.