Mike English of Albuquerque Business First took a left turn into our Downtown Albuquerque studio office to find out what it takes to make a perfect website and what it takes to make a successful 30 year career in marketing and branding. The interview can be read in the current issue of Albuquerque Business First or online via the link below.
Here are some excerpts from the article:
Sandy Hill’s marketing career covers more than 30 years in Albuquerque. As the owner of Studio Hill Design, which she started in 1986, she guides the company’s branding and web design efforts as well as everything from logos to interior design. She spoke with Business First about how her company helps clients discover the core of who they are and what they want from their website.
Your design career predates websites, if I might note. How does web design relate to other kinds of design?
It’s true. We not only predate websites, we also predate computers — think Xacto knives and rubber cement. But basically, the same principles still apply and they apply across all mediums. What I tell our web-design clients, who might be comparing us to other tech firms, is that we’re a marketing firm and a design firm. Our goal is to go in and see what is unique about the client, learn about their target audience and make a connection. Websites are just the vehicle that carries the same kind of messaging that we’ve always created.
What makes a good website, here in 2015?
All of the above: making a connection, providing value, speaking to the viewer and not just yourself. There’s a book around here we all had to read called “Don’t Make Me Think.” It explains that if someone needs to muck around on your website to find things, that’s not good. It needs to be simple and straightforward, easy to understand, easy to navigate and it needs to make a dynamic connection with the viewer right away.
How do you work with clients to identify what they want from their website?
We run everyone through our branding questionnaire, which is probably 12 questions, from asking them to describe their company in one sentence to what their target market is, what their goals are, all of that. The magic comes when we can get to their unique value. That’s why we do so much listening. It’s just like human beings: When we look in the mirror we cannot see ourselves objectively. Companies are that way too. We’re too close to see ourselves. I think that’s the beauty of having a company like ours come in, because we know how to look and listen and sort and separate out the magic of a company compared to what all their competitors might be doing. That’s the core truth we build the marketing message on. The super fun part then is to figure out how to communicate that.
Read the full interview here…