Byte creates website experiences that are moving, meaningful and measurable
“Unique”. “Creative”. “Supportive of our mission and brand”.
“Easy to Use”. “Data-driven”. “Increased our audience engagement”.
These are the words our clients use to describe the work we do and the websites we build for them. We didn’t set out to create sites that our clients say are “different and interesting compared to other web designers." We started with a way of doing things, and that process helps us create web-based experiences that are unique for each of our clients. .
Our approach is centered around asking really good questions. Sometimes, we’re the first to ask a specific design question, or about data use, or about business goals. From the beginning, we start by outlining goals, use cases (user's goals), and user stories (user's paths). We have a time-tested process that leads us through a content strategy, an information architecture and a user experience phase that happens before we ever set foot in design-land.
A Byte content strategy isn't just a site map, it's a process of imagining where content will be collected and created over years, and what parts of the site will bring that content online. It's dividing up content into meaning, creating a centralized and hierarchical taxonomy that distills into a site map. And it's finding the best voice for the website.
Design with meaning
Since the design follows the goals and content, each website design we create is following the website's needs, mixing in (and giving dimension to) brand elements, and creating something that's fully custom and feels special and communicates effectively.
When it comes to design, form follows function and all design is based on the organization's goals. It's also important to lead through design. That means we don't follow the fashion of the hour - we don't use a "hero image" or "material design" unless that's the best way to communicate the message. Instead we create a visual framework that's both communicative and unique, and design a website that's fully unique and its own voice.
While much of the web design world follows a theme-forward solution (making a design basically from a theme), we're not encumbered by themes. We use and make space effectively (slide-outs and pull-downs, etc.), develop content hierarchies and groupings, find navigation systems that make understanding the site's content easy, create a series of "buckets" that give organizations an opportunity to lead people to worthwhile content, and use animation and builds to add a level of detail that adds an emotion to the content that can't be done statically.
With our years of web design experience, we have a developed specific methods we use to code our sites. Our sites are coded to be easy for users. Each one of the group has its own needs, and each has its own set of codes or processes to make things easier.
- Website visitor (human)
- Website visitor (bot, including search engines)
- Social media or other sharing tools (bot parser)
- Website content manager (human with special powers)
- Website coder (human with nerd powers)
- Database administrator and designer (human with nerd powers)
- Future website coder (4th dimensional human)
We hand-code our websites without using large front-end frameworks because it makes a far more standardized, "semantic" (code with clear meaning) web site. We create real pages in real directories that follows the content strategy, connect to straightforward data tables, and publish and denormalize data when necessary. The more semantic and standards-based we are, the more we make every user’s job easier.
Delivery and support
When we deliver a website, we fully support the entire process. We have a thorough go-live checklist that includes:
- installing the site
- managing the DNS
- create site backups (when hosting with us)
- install statistics tool(s)
- manage webmaster tools
- register captchas, fonts, other offsite assets
When the site is live, we also fully support it. We have a system that makes it easy to report any issues, and a lifecycle to ensure issues are completed to everyone's satisfaction. When hosting with us, we also have a back-end scanning and hack prevention system that alerts us to any issues before they affect the site.
The Byte difference
Byte is fiercely independent. Our primary motivator is helping our clients create a better world, and our clients are out there doing that every day. Our secondary motivator is learning, building cool things, sharpening edges and pushing envelopes. Our tertiary motivator is money. We choose our clients accordingly.
We believe in relationships. We check in with our clients to see what they've learned about their sites. We take time to listen. We take time to learn.
We follow standards, not trends. We don't follow the fashion of today's frameworks or content management systems. Instead we're defining content management by making our own CMS that solves our clients' needs without sacrificing design or usability. And when things get slow or they're not working, we're not afraid of re-writing everything.
16 years of website design and development, and we're really just learning how to drive.