Well, almost. Regardless of the fact that we provide integrated services, often when a client comes to us for a website, they are not thinking about branding, yet it is often the issue that will make or break the website. Branding is often considered more of a consumer concern or maybe just an expensive “nice-to- have.” Of the six key components of a website development project — Content, Information Architecture, Search, Design, Interactivity and Programming — “content” is nearly always the chief area of focus, where the most time is expended and where differing opinions can affect outcomes and timing.
We received an RFP for a B2B website the other day. It was worded in a way as to constrain response to clearly specified tasks. When the firm called and asked us what made us different from the half dozen other firms that received the RFP, I said, “possibly nothing.” I wasn’t being flippant, just acknowledging that most anybody can create a basic website, the cost is dropping and the tools are improving.
As a classically trained designer, I was instilled with the best practices of the Bauhaus in how to make things functional and beautiful and that in fact function can be a form of beauty. The integration of form and function presaged the digital era and is certainly the driving force in web design, user interface and information architecture.