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It’s been a busy few months at Spindogs HQ.

As a company that has never shied away from a challenge, we set ourselves three deadlines that all needed to be completed by the 3rd August.

This date marks our 11th birthday, so it seemed the ideal opportunity to showcase some of the projects we have been working on. On this date we will have proudly released a new magazine, redesigned our office and launched a brand spanking new website – don’t say we never treat you!

One of the things I have learnt working at a digital agency is that it can be difficult to make your own projects the priority. We always put our clients first, so it is easy to keep pushing the idea for a new Spindogs website under a pile of wireframes.

However, after the last bottle of champagne had been popped on our 10th birthday, we decided that it was time to give our website a refresh. As I write this feature, the website we have put our heart and soul into for the past year is waiting patiently to go live, and the team is incredibly excited to hear your feedback.

But first, what was the theory behind our new design?

Spindogs are constantly evolving and adapting to the latest digital trends, so we pushed the boundaries and let our creativity and ambition be the force behind the website. We were fond of our previous site, and everyone seemed to like it, but it wasn’t telling the whole story. Spindogs offer a unique set of skills in-house, which means that we can cater for all your digital needs. We needed a website that would illustrate this clearly, but also make the user excited and inspired to work with us.

This was no mean feat, but like I said, we love a challenge!

Spindogs website wireframe

Before we could start sketching out new designs and making our ideas a reality, we took some time to research our competitors. We never forget this step when starting a project, as it is a good idea to understand the current landscape, and analyse what is working and what isn’t.

Once we had a good idea of the current web trends and what would work for our brand, we then wanted to make sure our clients had their say. Spindogs always involve user research, as users ensure that the project moves in the right direction. I have lost count of the amount of times a user has pointed out ways of improving a website, so their guidance is always invaluable. For our website we wanted to hear how we could improve our ‘Team’ page, as this is one of the highest-ranking pages according to Google Analytics. I spoke to a variety of clients about their views on how we were currently representing our team and it was interesting to hear their thoughts. This research helped us to adapt the content on each individual’s page and influenced the styling of our new photographs, so our clients’ views really have made an impact!

With our extensive research analysed, it was time to put pen to paper (or is that hand to mouse?), and start designing. Our designers began by working on wireframes so they could decipher what content we needed and where it would be best placed. They prefer to do this work away from their Macs, as by sketching them on a pad of paper they are free to experiment and produce more layouts efficiently. The designers focused on designs that would be easy to upgrade, so created minimalist modular layouts that satisfied our objectives.

The big step for this website was our decision to have a video header on the homepage. This massively influenced the design process as the designers had to research ways to style this video and explore how this interactive element could be implemented throughout the site. We wanted to take the Spindogs website to the next level, and animations were a big part of this ambition.

As with all our projects, this new website was a collaborative effort and the designers liaised with the developers to ensure that their ideas could be technically achieved. Animations needed to be added to blog posts so that we had the opportunity to use abstract imagery and we needed to add slideshows to showcase case studies effectively. The developers took all these ideas on board and used the animations to make the Spindogs experience both exciting and innovative. The level of detail behind every design is a credit to those that work on them, as they always make sure it isn’t just a pretty face!

Card sorting exercise content

Alongside the design and development process, it was important for us to focus on content. One of our objectives for the new website was to have the space to create exceptional content that our clients will want to read and share. An audit and content strategy was put in place and as a team we are already looking forward to inviting you to our new conversations online and offline.

Speaking of offline, things were also changing in our Spindogs office. The website’s redesign was illustrating a new Spindogs, embracing cool greys instead of the previous bright red. So our office needed to mirror this new experience and we gave it a lick of paint, some quirky artwork and even bought some plants to breathe new life into our workspace.

All of these changes have accumulated in an exciting new phase for Spindogs and we can’t wait to see where this leads. Hopefully you understand why and how we have made these changes, as in turn we love finding out about our clients and their ambitions. We strive to be an extension of your team and are always keen to understand your business’s motivations, a USP that will now be even clearer on our website, through not just its design but development and content too.

This feature was originally published in BARK Magazine, to find out more you can view the magazine via Issuu

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