I believe that great design is rooted in simplicity. The most beautiful and striking websites are the ones that don’t overwhelm. They delight with purposeful simplicity and clean, functional, user-friendly design. They provide a sense of calm and meaning amidst the clutter, chaos and clattering noise of the Internet.  To be able to design Sam Theron’s new website was a joy for me, since her brand’s values are so closely aligned with my own.

 

 

It all started with a Skype chat many months ago

Sam found out about me via a listing I’d created on the Hello Boss Community Facebook group. Hello Boss is an online community of like-minded female entrepreneurs. It recently changed from being an open community to a paid membership community, of which I am also still part of and loving.

Sam and I chatted over Skype about her new business venture. Sam is in the process of developing online courses aimed at helping woman simplify and declutter their lives. She wanted a minimal, finely balanced, sophisticated design to enhance her brand’s core message and appeal to her ideal customers, woman in the 30 – 50 age range.

When we first chatted, Sam had no brand identity, so I recommended that we wait for her branding before starting the website design. About 3 months later, Sam sent me her new logo and I began designing her website.

The first draft was awful! 

The problem with letting many months pass from our initial consultation to design work beginning was that Sam’s brief got a bit lost in translation. I had asked her to send me some examples of website designs she liked, and the last few she had sent me before I started designing were quite bold, in-your-face, busy designs. And that’s what I thought she wanted now… even though this was quite different from her original brief!

So I went about designing what I thought she wanted – it was loud and very bold and not something I’d ever done before. Very different to my usual style. I sent Sam the url for the draft design [I design on a development domain linked to my own domain] and waited for her feedback. She very politely told me that it was not at all what she wanted. At first I felt a bit lost and sad after hearing this, but then took a deep breath and started thinking deeply about draft 2.

Designing draft 2 was a much more enjoyable process. I was in the flow. This was the sort of design I love – minimal, clean, elegant and beautiful. This time it felt so right. And Sam’s response confirmed how I felt – she LOVED it! It was really worlds apart from that first draft.

Once we had settled on the look and feel of Sam’s design, we started working on the finer details and little touches – choosing the perfect photos, deep-etching Sam’s header image, fine-tuning the fonts and colour palette.

The last thing I did before going live with Sam’s website was spend time optimising the mobile and tablet designs.  For Sam’s website, I developed a new header section and created a different menu format that would only be shown to those viewing the website with a mobile device. Sam and I both love how the website looks on mobile.

Here is Sam’s new website:

View live – www.samtheron.com

 

What I learned from this project:

Don’t be disheartened when a client dislikes the initial draft. Sam was diplomatic and kind.  She gave constructive feedback, but I still got a sinking feeling in my stomach when she didn’t like the design. I allowed a few days to pass between getting Sam’s feedback and designing draft 2. This got draft 1 out of my mind so I could move into thinking of a whole new design concept.

Here is Sam’s testimonial about my services:

“I can highly recommend Megan, she brought my dream website to life! I found Megan online, and hired her to do my website without meeting her previously or being referred to her. I was pleasantly surprised at how well she grasped what I wanted done. She was patient and gave me helpful suggestions, and good advice. She was professional and a pleasure to work with!”

I’m so excited for where her website and online business is headed. She has some amazing plans and I can’t wait to help her further develop her website.

Are you looking for a female web designer to help bring your dream website to life? I would love to help. Email me at megan@rubystudiodesign.com to arrange a free, no-obligation discovery consultation.