Focusing the Infinite

Taking A Creative Project From Concept To Reality

April 20th Articles
Focus The Infinite Cover 2X

At the start of a project, the possibilities are infinite. Imaginations run wild. Ideas flow freely. Options are open. Our goal in the early stages of a new project is to bring two main things into focus:

  1. The goals of the project: Do you need to raise awareness? Want to increase sales? How about getting across your culture and attracting talent? What’s the long-term brand and business strategy? What’s the key messaging? How will we measure success?
  2. Our strategy for hitting those goals: We practice strategy-driven design. Every facet of a project should serve your business goals, including design, visual direction, written content and tone, user interaction, and functionality.
Laying The Framework2X

Laying the framework is is when we first start to scale down from the infinite to the finite.

Laying the Framework

We begin by agreeing on the timeframe, scope, launch parameters, and strategy. Then we bring all of the project stakeholders together for a kickoff meeting. During this working session, we go through an intensive exploration phase where everyone aligns on the goals, strategy, and an initial direction on visuals and tone. This is when we first start to scale down from the infinite to the finite.

Distillation2X

Refinement continues, even after the project kickoff.

The Distillation Process

We schedule weekly, hour-long sprints to present designs, get feedback, and iterate. Weekly sprints also help us prevent scope creep and threats to the schedule. We’re always balancing how much to play with options and when concrete decisions have to be made. Every choice made during a project eliminates other options and narrows the focus.

Iterations

We iterate following each sprint review. These sessions further define elements of the project. A final color pallette eliminates other colors. A wordmark may be chosen over a logomark. The choice of photos, rather than illustrations changes the overall look and feel of a website. Each iteration refines the project to fewer and fewer elements and directions to consider.

If you’re new to this process, it might be difficult to understand why seemingly minor changes, like adding or removing a section from a website page, is an iteration. This is especially true once development begins on the site. Choices made along the way affect other aspects of the project. If you change one thing, it may require many connected features to be changed as well. Most importantly, every iteration, small and large, adds time and pushes the launch back toward the infinite, which is why we spend so much time upfront laying a strong foundation.

Refocus As You Go2X

Consistently refocusing will be an ongoing need.

Refocus as You Go

Ultimately, focusing the infinite is a big part of what we do. It starts from the beginning and carries through to launch. Keep in mind that sites and brands evolve. As your company grows, pivots, and matures, you’ll need to alter the elements beyond those in the initial project. Part of our job is to anticipate those future needs and build sites and brands in a way that they can easily scale, adapt, be resistant to trends, and give you a container that focuses your business.

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