August 6, 2020

Why bespoke web design?

I’m not really a template person. I love creating things anew, whether it’s a design artifact or a cooked meal. Sure, the process takes a little longer, but the end result is so much more satisfying—and rewarding.

The term bespoke design refers to custom design made from scratch according to the project needs, instead of using a template as a starting off point. I approach all of my design projects with fresh eyes and my initial goal is to learn the needs of the project. What’s the goal of the website? Is it to attract new employees? Win bids and contracts? Showcase service offerings? Sell products or merchandise? Some combination or all of the above?

To me, it doesn’t really make sense to start with a template when the goals of a website can vary greatly. And those goals don’t just vary based on the business, but on the target market and demographic of website visitors. A website’s design should meet the goals of the business, not the other way around. By starting with a template, you’re either forcing your business’s goals into a pre-existing structure that may not be the best fit, or you’re getting ahead of yourself by focusing on aesthetic before considering things like content strategy and sourcing images and assets.

Don’t get me wrong—sometimes templates can be a great source of inspiration. But templates are typically showcased in their best possible use case in order to sell—that’s why they look so good. But more often than not, when you start changing things, layering in your own branding (especially if it doesn’t look exactly like the demo version), and implementing your own content, the design starts breaking at the seams. And then you get ideas to add things to the page, or install new widgets, or add more photos than what the template calls for. All of the sudden, you’ve strayed far enough away from the original template that it’s unrecognizable, but your website looks pieced together instead of one cohesively designed experience.

This is why I specialize in bespoke web design. While it may take a little longer and cost a little more, the value lies in the freedom to explore a design that best fits the goals of the site and your business. There’s ample freedom to change the layout, add new sections, revise content lengths, and showcase beautiful photos.

My web design process starts with a static design phase. This is where I create mockups to explore the design—everything including content, layout, images, typography, colors. I use as many revisions as it takes to create a design that my clients are happy with and that exceeds their expectations of what their website could look like and do for them as a business tool. By getting everything as close to finalized as possible in the design phase, development becomes a breeze. Instead of wasting time in development playing around with layouts and modules that may not make the final cut, I can go into the development phase with a plan of action and streamlined workflow to get a website up and running in what seems like no time. On top of that, my clients know exactly what they’ll be getting, with no unpleasant surprises once the demo link is sent out. Open communication is my most important value, and that means clients get to collaborate on the design and feel heard throughout every step of the way.

The process of creating bespoke web designs enables me to craft a site that is truly unique together with my clients, and that’s the thing that I love most about what I do.

About Mary-Ann Zykin

Mary-Ann Zykin is an experienced freelance designer based in Houston, TX who specializes in custom web design, WordPress web development, and branding.

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