Become Your Own Client: a Primer for Website Redesign

When it comes to working with our clients and prospects advice, we’ve probably all been guilty of not following the mantra “practice what you preach”. We get so caught up in the daily functions of our business and the needs of our clients that our own image begins to show a few cracks of its own. In such cases, it’s time we start taking a dose of our own medicine.

Take The Langton Cherubino Group for instance.  A New York firm specializing in marketing strategies and communications programs, the Langton Cerubino Group recently redesigned their website to adhere to the standards they hold so high for their clients.

“It’s hard to turn the equation around and become your own client.” (David Langton, Principal, Langton Cherubino Group)

As a design communications firm which specializes in branding and identity, the firm asks their clients a number of initial questions before developing a working solution for them. During the redesign, they turned these questions inward, essentially making themselves their client.

  • Who is your target audience?
  • What impressions do you want to make?
  • What information do you want to convey?
  • What does this project have to do in order for you to consider it a success?

By making this effort to address their own needs and target new prospects and visitors, it seems the firm has developed a great formula for a successful website design: one that is easily accessible, has a structure designed for the visitor rather than the firm, includes engaging links and content, is optimization for search engines and gives the firm the ability to add new content quickly.

After answering these questions, it was time for co-founders David Langton and Norman Cerubino to begin developing a website redesign that made the best impression of their work. To gauge the success of the project, new requirements of the website were outlined, including:

  • An easily accessible design.
  • A structure based on what their visitors are interested in seeing rather than just what the firm wants to show.
  • Various links and content that engage visitors to learn more about individual projects.
  • A search function to increase traffic to the site.
  • The ability to add new projects and content quickly.

While working towards achieving the goal they outlined, the Langton Cherubino Group treated the assignment as if it was one they took on for a paying client, conducting weekly meetings exploring the underlying details of the site redesign, conducting market studies of competitor sites, designing drafts of potential solutions and holding critiques to assess their viability. The result of all of this work culminated in a systematic solution with a form follows function approach.

Another requirement of the redesign was making the new website searchable and accessible by well-known search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo. The old website, which was built in flash and not easily recognized by key search engines, hurt their online visibility to a degree. The new website, based in HTML and includes both key words and descriptive text, has increased its recognizability with key search engines and has made the site easier to find for their visitors.

“We now have a more robust web solution.”

What Type Are You?

What Type Are You?

Visit 'What Type Are You?': a micro-site developed by Pentagram, and discover a typeface that reflects your personality.

Marina Script: emotional, understated, traditional, disciplined; “a 1936 version of a writing style that is centuries old. It is a typeface with delicately emotional swoops and serifs delivered with an aristocratic precision & restraint... apparently, it’s also my personality summed up in a typeface.

Typefaces, and the letters they depict, are a lot like people. They come in all shapes, sizes, weights and forms. Some quietly grace the page while others scream for attention. Some are so wildly popular and well-known that it’s difficult to imagine a world without them while others simply depict the times or a trend.

Pentagram, one of the world’s most respected design firms, has created a site that explores the question: What type are you? The site, narrated by a faceless, Freudian faceless analyst, asks you four personality questions, after which you’re presented with a typeface that reflects your personality most accurately according to your answers. You’ll not only learn a little about yourself, but even a little bit of history behind the typeface which represents you.

Follow this link to try it for yourself (use the password “Character” to enter the site).