Designing Based On Industry: A Case Study
Web design and development can look really different, depending on the kind of business you’re working for.
It’s always different but I think that one this remains true: To design for someone or something, you have to be well versed or at least informed about what that particular business or client needs.
Looking at it through a UX lense, the client becomes the users in a way and I think that is a very valuable lesson to learn.
That brings me to my point: Research and design go hand in hand.
If you’re branding, working for a startup, looking to do content creation based on what you’re client needs, it doesn’t really matter.
If you’re going to walk the walk, you have to talk the talk.
A few months ago I have the pleasure of working with an HVAC company. Which of course is way out of my area of expertise. And when I say way out, I mean I had to Google what the company actually did in order for me to start doing anything remotely close to what would help drive the business.
For this project, it was less about UI design and more about building a simple, functioning site that the client would be able to drive business through and continue to grow.
I didn’t really have a jumping off point. I had a logo and a mission statement (that I later ended up editing) and that was about it.
Through research and landscape analysis I was able to uncover one very important thing:
It didn’t have to be fancy. It didn’t have to be visually perfected an curated based on the latest design trends or conventions.
Before starting out, I even called a couple of competitors, conducted some interviews and chatted with the client about what he did day to day, and how he felt like a website would serve him best.
Sometimes, listening and learning is more important than the actual design work.
What I was designing ended up being a simple landing page with a contact page, an about section, and later, a form that allowed customers to ask the company directly for estimates.
And you know what? It has been extremely successful! It was exactly what my client needed, no more and no less.
Because I focused the design on what was asked for and what made sense, no what I thought was going to look the best or what I thought would make the site stand out.
This wasn’t a startup or an ecommerce site, it was someone looking to expand and organize his business and client based so that he could continue to do the work he loved.
The bottom line is that sometimes, design doesn’t need to be complicated. Sometimes, it’s much less about the visual and technical work you put into something and more about the people and the what their vision looks like.
Even though we live in a constantly evolving digital world, and physical spaces are become less and less normalized, it doesn’t mean that there still isn’t a human connection to all things design.
This being a prime example:
I designed for a different kind of user, and used pain points and research to back up the product.
It went so well that I have continued to work with the same client and conduct redesigns and iterations for the same small, no frills website.
His business has continued to grow and expand into several different counties and that, after all, was the goal!