Some few years ago two friends became set on an idea: they wanted to combine their experience and potential to emerge as fruitfully collaborating fairy godmothers. Their names were Andrew and Daniel*.
*The names have been changed for this publication, but just a couple letters each.
One might say that's a surprising ambition for, well, male guys – oh, the stereotypes. But let me mention that this magic was intended for the good of businesses all around the globe – make their branding flawless and their websites stealing attention like a Cinderella dress.
And our two buddies succeeded, starting dops.digital.
Putting aside tale narrative, fast forward to today. Dops.digital is a boutique creative agency of 24 people focused on building unique web designs that look and feel premium, with 42 killing
pumpkins, errrmm, websites on the record.
Now, promising something unique bears responsibility – there are so many talented designers and creative directors out there, and even they admit having creative blocks from time to time. How can someone know they will deliver truly original output each time? Better yet, what kind of genie grants not only exceptional visuals but also business value, meets deadlines, and doesn't break the bank?
Having a framework for magic seems counterintuitive – the framework is a definition of repetitiveness. But they developed one. The framework that bolsters listening and asking the right questions, drives the linear development of design and helps not to drift off-course in a land of infinite creativity like Alice in Wonderland.
When a customer approaches with the design project request we lay out a complete work plan for them. The length depends on the task complexity and needs of a particular client, but we always go through the same stages necessary for the top result.
Do you want to see how it works?
Starting with a discovery.
A valiant project manager and an imaginative business analyst immerse in the company's shoes. They interview the client team to uncover business needs and research the competitors.
Here's their loot, that will directly influence the design:
Pssst! There is a whole study listing 12 fundamental benefits that the discovery phase brings to both pragmatical management and creative designing.
After the initial research, the UX designer and concept artist go full-swing in a creative playground. With the findings of the discovery phase, they explore graphic solutions and work towards finding the most effective one.
These are the results of their experiments:
While the output blueprint is not final yet and there's still some time to make changes, it already begins to unfold the unique brand identity.
Time for motion animation magic and weaving playful illustrations into the content, which altogether make sure the visitors will enjoy the new website and stay longer on it. At the end of this phase we can brag about:
The frontend craftsmanship reconstructs the PDF design mockups as the actual web pages, adding a handful of smooth UI transitions and hover effects.
See it and touch it:
The final touch is the deployment and it happens on the backend. To deliver the website to the outer world we put it on the company domain and integrate it with any third-party services: delivery apps, social media APIs, payment systems, and more.
What the last wave of the wand brings:
This workflow is guaranteed to keep our "good work" development process from stalling.
Every stage above has tasks that need to be done and design questions that need to be answered. And each answer can bring an interesting, uncommon angle.
Of course, our design team evaluates them and makes sure that creativity doesn't go rogue. Our pursuit of exquisiteness is led by customer business values. We use our framework to deliver fast and outstanding.
With this article, we want to share our attitude to the design process. It is more than a balance between building the exclusively custom design and having an effective and timely delivery. It has a bit of talent alchemy, supernatural excitement of creating beautiful things that were not there yesterday. Our manifest is to never grow tired of working miracles. Because every brand deserves one.