Monthly Archives: December 2013

Blog post | Winning the DesignFirms™ Web Award

In September we won the DesignFirms™ web award. We’re particularly proud of this award because it’s a commendation of our very own website:, from an independent panel of industry peers – web designers and web developers – scoring in three categories:

• Creativity & Design
• Programming & Compatibility
• Ease of Use & Effectiveness


Overall we scored 97 out of a possible 99 points, with a perfect 33 for the Programming & Compatibility category. The award came as a welcome pat on the back (or a big w00t as the coders would say), after a lengthy design and development process.

The redesign this time around (we’re now on MKIII) was the result of a planning process that began with a thorough analysis of our business situation. The resulting marketing strategy recommended repositioning the business alongside a radical reorganisation of our service offerings.

Knowing exactly how we wanted to present the company in light of our new strategy, meant we were able to plan the website as part of a wider marketing and social media campaign. We used a collaborative, online wireframing system to prototype each page of the site in full, providing our test users with a rough version of the site with all of the navigation and hyperlinks fully functional. Amends to the prototype were quick and simple to make and allowed easy collaboration in house, until an architecture that met our marketing objectives was agreed.

From that point our graphics team took over and designed each page based on the wireframes. These being well established and approved by all made it much easier for our designers to get to grips with the visual language of the design. Similarly our developers were able to get a clear sense of the site’s structure and functionality before the first graphics assets were supplied to them.

We believe that the recognition of the DesignFirms™ Web Award is the direct result of putting the work into the three main planning stages:

• Business objectives
• Marketing strategy
• Interactive prototype

Clear strategy and solid planning informed and simplified all the necessary artistic and technical decision making of the design and build. The DesignFirms™ endorsement cements our belief that alongside great content, the secrets of successful web design are thorough business strategy and detailed prototyping. High fives all round!