Our Toughest Client
Last year, Free Range began to stare down the same challenge many of our clients face: our website was approaching its fourth birthday and starting to look outdated. In addition to the design and technology being several years old (in internet years, that's ancient!) the content and structure didn’t represent our current approach — and our current vision for the future. Though the prospect of becoming our own client was a little scary, we committed to the collaborative task of rethinking, redesigning, and rebuilding our site.
The big questions we asked ourselves mirror our clients’ big questions:
- How do we create a site that will be relevant for the next 2-4 years?
- How do we accurately portray our work so our audiences understand what we do and become interested in engaging with us?
- How do we build a site we can easily maintain and expand over time?
- How do we, a studio that specializes in online strategy, storytelling and design, craft a site that meets our own highest standards?
Not an easy task.
To add to the process, we challenged ourselves with translating our storytelling approach more fully into the site’s architecture and design. We created information architecture that represented the content we wanted to share, but then we gave it a twist. We pushed ourselves to translate the main navigation into a creative format that would be unique, but also user friendly enough for our most important audiences – potential and current clients.
Our next step was to create wireframes and user pathways for the new site. Again, we wanted to do something a little unexpected, but fully intuitive. The full screen layout is a provocative way for us to showcase our work, and the world of storytelling as we see it.
And the final step was to integrate our updated brand with the information architecture and wireframes. We went through many (many) rounds of revisions and then built the site in our favorite CMS, ExpressionEngine. After lots of testing and tweaking and proofreading, we’ve ended up with a site we're thrilled to share with the world.
I must admit, Free Range is the most challenging client I've ever worked with! As you can imagine, working with a group of highly creative individuals with competing priorities was not a walk in the park, but the reward has been more than worth it.
I’m proud to present – on behalf of the whole coop – our new site! Tell us what you think!