It’s finally here! Our new website is live. We are so excited to share the good news! We recently decided to refresh our website for Grova Creative and we just love it!Back to menu
It’s finally here! Our new website is live. We are so excited to share the good news! We recently decided to refresh our website, and can’t wait to show everyone! But before you take a peek (if you are reading this then you most likely saw the new site, lol), we wanted to share some insight into our process of designing our new website look.
Web design and web development are two separate disciplines, both are vital to the creation of a successful website. It’s important as a designer to keep not only the user interface (UI design) but also the user experience (UX design) in mind when tackling a new web project. With the integration of tablets and mobile devices into our everyday lives, websites now require a much more sophisticated design process. It’s no longer enough to only think of web design in terms of desktop use; responsive design and mobile optimization have become a necessity at this point. It may be tempting to get carried away with the infinite possibilities that web design as a medium is capable of, but ultimately, we are still confined to the limits of today’s technology. Things like “loading times,” “data storage,” and “responsiveness” might seem like hindrances to the creative process, but they also encourage restraint and balance. Thinking in terms of “mobile-first” is a mindset that many designers have adopted to offset this issue. Asking questions like – How will this design look and function on mobile devices? Will it be easy for users to navigate? How can we incorporate the use of SEO to optimize traffic for our clients? – is a good way to start solving issues beyond just visually organizing a page and, in the long run, this will set you apart from other designers.
Ultimately, the primary function of a website is to provide the visitor with information about the products and services offered by the host company, as well as relevant resources and ways to get in touch. The best way to do this is to make it as easy for the user to access this information as possible. Everything else should come second. As digital designers, we are unhindered by physical limitations such as space, color, and depth. In many ways, the world (wide web) is our oyster. In light of this, it can be easy to overwhelm the senses with the overuse of color, photography, and other elements that make up a typical web page. But often, less really is more!
Good design comes in many forms, but will most often carry an underlying sense of selectiveness and visual restraint to achieve balance. To guide the viewer through a sea of information, there must be a visual hierarchy to follow, and it must flow in a way that makes sense. In terms of web design, this means the use of white space or negative space, is key. Keep in mind – white space does not actually have to be white! It merely refers to an absence of visual clutter, and many designers choose to use black or other colors to achieve this minimalistic look. White space can often leave designers with the sense that something is missing, and the subsequent urge to “fill” as much of it as possible. But the eye needs space to wander and breathe, and good design is all about structuring things in a way that is pleasing to the eye. Providing your audience with room to breathe on a visual basis will ensure that they stay relaxed and engaged throughout the experience you are providing them with, and thus, they will be more likely to return (and tell their friends).
One of the best ways to get information across is to tell a good story, and when we decided our website was due for a make-over, that’s exactly what we strived for. Thinking in terms of story sequence is not something most people attribute to UX/UI design – but this can be a vital skill to have in your tool-belt. Not only will it allow you to think critically about the flow of content on your page, it will also ensure that this information leaves a positive, lasting impression on the minds of potential clients, partners, and industry enthusiasts. In particular, this was a challenge we came across while designing the Case Studies section of our new website. Case studies are all about delivering the details and numbers of a project. We had to ask ourselves – how do we break down this information in a way that is both stimulating and palatable to our target audience? And for this kind of delivery, we knew that a standard article format simply wouldn’t cut it.
Similarly, when it came to designing the “About page,” we as a company had to think deeply about how we wanted site visitors to experience our story. What did we want our visitors to know about us? What are our values and commitments? What are we most proud of achieving? How would we want to make a first impression on a first-time visitor? And likewise, how would that first impression resonate with those who are already familiar with our work?
Much of our motivation for revamping the about page came from a strong desire to break away from the norm – but in such a way that we didn’t risk alienating or confusing our visitors. In true artistic form, the vast majority of our inspiration was found in some of the most surprising places. During our research stage, one of our designers stumbled upon an interactive children’s storybook called “Oat the Goat,” which was published as part of an anti-bullying initiative by the New Zealand Ministry of Education. It’s an absolutely beautiful piece of dynamic storytelling – and it’s made almost entirely through web design. We were stunned. The idea that there is so much potential for telling a great story in something as delightfully unexpected as web design was game-changing, and heavily dictated the way we chose to move forward.
It’s not every day we get to explore a whole new look without re-inventing ourselves entirely, but for a few months this past summer and fall, our team did just that. In true Grova fashion, we aimed to take this project beyond the noise – and didn’t stop until we hit our target.
And we are super proud to finally launch our new website. We hope you enjoy!
Written by: Vanessa Miranda