Defining Square One
Understanding public perception and stakeholder objectives
Paradigm was founded in 2016 by Industrial Designer Sunny Su, later joined by Graphic Designer Ben Markoch. Together they grew the company from a small design studio to a design & business innovation brand. As with many rapidly growing companies, they had lost a focused message and brand over two years of operation. They brought me on to Paradigm's team to evaluate their brand and produce a refreshed website to reflect a fully fledged agency.
I had my own ideas around Paradigm’s needs for improvement but I wanted to back up my observations with user feedback. I worked with the Paradigm team to create a brand perception survey. The goal of the survey was to determine how employees, clients, and those familiar and unfamiliar with Paradigm perceived the company through the website and social media channels.
Paradigm’s website and social media fostered distrust due to their ever changing contractor list, pie in the sky promotional language, and frenetic advertisement of design events
We received over 40 responses. Survey responders indicated that Paradigm’s website and social media fostered distrust due to their ever changing contractor list, pie in the sky promotional language, and frenetic advertisement of design events and retreats. Some responders noted frustration that Paradigm advertised themselves as experts but failed to provide any work examples to back that claim up. Very few people understood what kind of work Paradigm actually did.
From this feedback, Sunny, Ben and I determined our goals for improvement:
- Concrete, trustworthy marketing language
- A website fitting for a design agency
- Clearly articulated services
- Thorough case studies to showcase work in website and social media
We determined the website was the perfect context to develop a fresh visual style and updated language to achieve our key goals.
We evaluated menu structure, call to action placements, landing page heirarchy, and visual devices used to establish trust and simplicity. With an understanding of how successful agencies structure their websites, we moved forward with outlining Paradigm’s website in a Google Doc and Whimsical.
Bringing content to life
We outlined case studies worth showcasing, the lead funnel we wanted to establish, and the visuals and language that would elevate Paradigm's brand. We landed on the words “vibrant”, “whimsical”, “visionary”, and “trustworthy” for Paradigm’s brand personality. I collaborated with the greater Paradigm design team to establish mood boards to embody that vision. This served as the foundation for the visual designs I proposed.
We landed on the words “vibrant”, “whimsical”, “visionary”, and “trustworthy” for Paradigm’s brand personality.
I presented a “light” and “dark” theme from the mood boards and worked through typography options with stakeholders and the greater team.
From Sketch to Webflow
Visual Design to Implementation
We landed on the starry, whimsical dark theme, final typography, and visual designs in January 2019. This left about a month and a half to develop the website. I built the website in Webflow, where I had complete control over layout and animations without writing a line of code. Webflow also offers a CMS platform that enabled the templatization of case studies and tertiary pages. Paradigm team members were able to build 10 case studies by plugging content and images into the template.
I built the website in Webflow, where I had complete control over layout and animations without writing a line of code.
Future looking, Paradigm team members could easily edit pages and add case studies without going into Webflow’s backend dashboard.
This was the rare project where I was able to build the project from the ground up. I led everything from research to development, both project managing and pixel pushing.
Paradigm has extended my designs to their larger system of social media channels, newsletter, conference, and company pitch deck.
I led everything from research to development, both project managing and pixel pushing.
"Building our new site didn’t just enhance our web presence, but helped us better define our business’ value proposition and the value of the services we offer to our customers. Our internal vision for what we do and the way we market to our target audience it is 100% clearer thanks to the process we went through with Bethany, and her work was nothing short of stellar."
Principal and Director of Brand + Experience at Paradigm Innovation
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