The secret to my success in designing functional, beautiful sites is two-fold:
One, I only work with specific clients; and Two, my method for designing sites has a foundation
in what I always thought growing up would one day be my career:
writing and illustrating children’s books.
My speciality is building sites with small creative startups and micro-businesses. Basically, I work with one-or-two-man operations, brick-and-mortar businesses with just one or two locations, very localized services, and crafty online sellers.
If you’re an independent hairdresser, I’m probably a great web designer for you. If you’re a portrait artist, same thing. If you’re a pair of brothers starting your first brewing company; if you're a book illustrator; if you're a yoga instructor, a millennial roasting coffee out of your kitchen, or a jewelry-maker who crafts earrings out of found bones—I’m right up your alley.
It’s very important to have a site design that matches the kind of clientele you’re hoping to reach. That’s why my children’s-book method is brilliant for creative small businesses, youthful companies with a cause, or tiny online shops.
A children’s book is an example of storytelling at its cleanest. It always has a clear hook—that is, a reason to keep reading all the way to the end. It builds anticipation for a resolution. Often the illustrations are interactive or clever. Even adults will follow through and read to the last page.
I use these same principles in building websites. All the sites I build are artistic and clean. They use a variety of techniques to engage visitors and keep them clicking through. I find out very early on what it is that you want your site to accomplish, and then set up everything you need from there to steer visitors to do what you want them to do.
Big companies, or even small companies with hundreds of products, can’t subscribe to the children’s-book method… but micro businesses and creative startups can. And this is to their advantage.
As a small business owner or startup, you need visitors to your site to get through your content fluidly and take action quickly, rather than meander, ponder, and think about maybe coming back later. You need to secure an appointment or sale right there, achieve a real-life personal connection from a visitor filling out your contact form or subscribing to a service. The children’s book method allows you to build Know, Like, and Trust more quickly so that visitors to your site want to work with you, and only.