Recently, I was hired to redesign the website for my good friends at Firefly Logic in Nashville. Firefly Logic is a software development company that has a heavy focus on Microsoft’s technology while also staying wide open to new technology and platforms such as Apple’s iPhone / iPad apps.
I was excited to begin working on this project and wanted to share some of my process here.
The beginning of the site process included roughly 15 hours of research, ‘discovery’ documentation, meetings, and site diagraming to outline the content strategy. I drafted multiple documents following our original project call to address and outline the site’s gameplan and strategy. This documentation included questions revolving around FIrefly’s perceived market competitors and their URLs as well as discussions on the company’s long-term plans. Once the answers come in that address the questions I had put forth, we reengaged and discussed the outcome. There is no room for communication error when you are to architect someone’s image.
I had expressed interest and observed a need to rework the company’s logo. While, I thought the mark was appropriate and inspiring for a development company the typography was weak and the narrow letterforms caused it to be very hard to read which can be exacerbated by the fact that their brand presence is so heavily ‘web’. There log is often seen on screens and in profile icons, etc. and it’s important that it scales well and better represents the company’s positioning as well.
Once I had the research data, a good foundation for the client’s goals and a sound sitemap to go by I was ready to layout the wireframing for the site. The wireframes help the client to ‘see’ the site without being distracted by color, contrast or other design elements at this stage and it ensures that the requested features are placed in a logical and user-friendly way.
During the research phase there was a lot of discussion about the company’s positioning relating to platform. Part of my design strategy that was discussed was to be purposefully inspired by the new Windows Phone 7 aesthetic, so that Firefly’s image was aligned with their business strategy and exuded there skillset through UI design. From the modular, geometric component shapes to the color palette I wanted to stay clean, lively and most importantly engaging with the content to draw users into a bigger experience than their current site offered. When the content writer provided titles for the pages, they were very creative and one of the UX decisions that I made was to describe the page in subtext below the page name so users would not be confused about what the “SPARK” is, for example and would not be apprehensive about clicking or confused. Another small nuance of design decision making that I thought was effective was on their new blog. I had chosen to filter by ‘depth’ of content. Sometimes, the client will post in depth articles on development, for developers and other times their posts would be more topical or simply sharing content found on the web. I came up with tiers of complexity that filtered down by personas. For example, if you are ‘into technology…but not a total geek’ that is expressed in the persona ‘Technofile’ and would spare you from browsing content that didn’t interest you.