Searching for online perfection? Incremental web design is the answer

Incremental web design

There’s that expression I keep hearing these days, ‘don’t let perfect be the enemy of good’. And there’s something to it. In our studio we strive for a superb, creative outcome on every piece of work.

But sometimes inevitably constraints mean that the ideal project they wanted is impossible because… maybe the photos aren’t ready (or these days, the shoot is delayed). Perhaps budget is tight. Or a major new product doesn’t launch for a few months, but that can’t delay the finished website.

Whatever the reason, I try to find the positive in the situation. We try and encourage our clients to press ahead with what they have now, then build on that work. It’s an approach I call ‘incremental web design’: where money isn’t wasted, but seen as an initial investment built upon over time, defining an easy-does-it approach to a fantastic website.

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How the Shine Awards became an online event

Over the last decade, the Shine School Media Awards has consistently rewarded the UK’s best school magazines or newspapers. In the seven years I’ve been involved with this annual competition, the team behind the project have always worked on incrementally improving every aspect of it, adapting with the times. For instance, latterly we’ve introduced a podcast category and have begun accepting digital publications and highly sophisticated websites.

That said, the familiar pattern of the year, leading up to a grand gala ceremony at Stationers’ Hall in the City of London, has never really changed. However, this year, we reinvented it – at a few weeks’ notice. When Stationers Hall closed in April, it was a terrible blow, made even more complicated by schools moving to online learning.

We pondered cancellation. However: it turned out that it was much too early to count out our students, whose enthusiasm spurred us on to be radical and hold this year’s ceremony as an online event.

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This digital revolution

digital revolution

Everyone is desperate for life to return ‘to normal’. This is particularly critical for business leaders and employers most seriously affected by the lockdown. I share that impatience! But, let’s also remember what this ‘normal’ was for all of us: a tough, boom-and-bust rollercoaster of a decade that I’ve written about before.

There have been good and unbelievably dire times amid this supposed period of growth and stability. The truth is, turbulence and unpredictability is nothing new. Many have written about the swift pace of change in our working lives in the last months, but what seems to be happening concurrent with that is even more noteworthy.

All the work we’ve done and clients we’ve talked to over the last three months point to one thing: we’re living through a fast-forward period of intense digital revolution. Inevitably, I am embracing every aspect of these changes – albeit in the hope that what emerges afterwards feels stable and sustainable.

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Our clients, colleagues and community

Back in early March, a friend posted an article on LinkedIn that profoundly resonated with me. With just a few words, the piece from ICF Next captured in a nutshell everything I had been feeling but hadn’t quite managed to enunciate.

Simply put, that as our lives abruptly changed, for businesses who were able to operate, the three key responsibilities we have are to our clients, colleagues and the wider community.

In the spirit of the ICF Next article, I’d like to talk about what we’ve been working on in the last three months and, with great care, what we’re planning next.

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Fully charged: a new wave of tech startup logo and web design

tech startup logo web design

Everything has a battery in it. Things that we could never have imagined needing one, now require a power source. Thermostats. Doorbells. Picture frames. All need charging – and crucially, all contain the same sort of lithium battery we’ve been using for decades. The devices they reside within may be cutting edge, but the source of their power is another matter.

That’s not true progress and certainly isn’t sustainable.

There are teams all over the world working on this problem, but one of them, LiNa Energy, a startup at Lancaster University, is working on a new type of battery platform using sodium. Our role has been to work on a rebrand project – which has turned out to be a superb case study of tech startup logo and web design.

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Building reputation: web design for the real estate business

web design for real estate

People often talk about owners resembling their pets. In the TikTok era, this usually arrives with a readymade set of outlandish video proof, usually involving an upside down cat or extremely disgruntled bulldog.

While I’m not one for crazy pet memes, I do think there’s an (admittedly tangential) metaphor to draw between the pets/owners trope and something that occurred to me at the weekend: namely websites being a stylistic reflection of the businesses they belong to.

This thought was inspired by a project we’ve just completed, a web design for real estate business London & Oriental. As a company they are particularly proud of their attention to detail, so we felt the need to rise to that challenge ourselves.

The end result is that every aspect of the site’s layout has been considered and then re-thought, the end result being the most perfect, almost architecturally structured layout.

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