Positively Packaged was a brand new idea created by two friends that were excited to make professional cohesive design available for new entrepreneurs. One day they were just having a casual conversation and realized they both had a very similar goal. The reason it was such a great fit and opportunity is when it came to the tools they needed to make this new idea work they were opposites. Meaning where one lacked the other was great so they made a perfect whole.
To take a new complex idea and simplify it down into an easy-to-navigate website and platform.
Ok, first things first. Who are we designing for?
Luckily, I happened to have an inner-circle filled with the people this business was looking to serve. I was able to reach out to them, pick their brain, and come up with a persona to help me gauge exactly what they needed help with.
Based on my "Jenny" persona, I determined some important factors for this entrepreneur demographic.
- Although they grew up in the modern age and have been around computers and technology most of their life, they are not very tech-savvy, and don't have much interest in learning the ins and outs of programming a website.
- They are excited to launch their new business, but they also don't want to put something out into the world they are not happy with. They want to look professional from the start.
- They would love to hire a designer, and web developer but it's just not in the budget at this time.
- Time is of the essence, they want to get started on taking clients within in the first month.
The information was key in helping me prioritize features and interface design.
Reviewing the Competition
In order to understand and fully appreciate the need for professional, branding and website, I needed to understand the competition. Surely, there were other companies in the marketplace offering similar things. I made it my goal to understand those companies, what they offer, and the gaps in the marketplace.
Fortunately, I had much experience in this type of project since I worked in this field for many years, so the ideas flowed freely. I only needed a handful of sketches to get me started, which allowed me to move on to wireframing quickly.
Even though I didn't feel I needed many sketches, I needed to take the time to see how to layout the information and flow so that the customer would understand what this company was offering. They offered the consumer various ways to purchase the items, so it was crucial to think through all the different pieces of the website.
Taking this time, was extremely helpful when I moved on to the wireframes and flow of the website.
I love the wireframing stage, because it allows me to see my ideas come together. That said, it can be a bit time consuming, but I have found if you skip this stage you will run into issues later on down line, because you have not fully thought out the customer journey.
It was much easier for this particular project and its complexity to start with the desktop and adjust to flow into mobile. When it comes to wireframing, you can often get away with using templates to create from, but this was not the case for this particular project. I had to start from scratch and think about all the different items.
In the end, I am so glad I took the time to build out roughly ten pages before moving on to the build because it allowed me to find many problems and areas we didn't think through thoroughly.
With the wireframes completed, I wanted to confirm that the flow of the site would make sense. Especially since we had so many different discovery points and navigation methods, I wanted a clear view of how things would work.
Branding & Visual Standards
To start the branding portion of the project, I started with what the company was looking to offer its customers. If it weren't a digital experience, it would be all the pieces a new entrepreneur needed to launch a professional, cohesive brand all wrapped up in a nice box. "Your business is a Box" was the company's motto in a nutshell. So how can I take that idea and present it in a digital form? I wanted the customer to have still that feeling of having a present gifted to them, which is why I turned the letter "P" into a package. This concept was the stepping stone for the entire brand identity.
Knowing that this company will be creating many brand identities in its work for the customers, the palette needed to remain neutral. The last thing you would want is for the Positively Packaged brand to compete with the brands and websites it was selling off to the customers.
But with a neutral palette, there are still so many choices and ways to go about it. I wanted to create a sophisticated high-end palette that felt luxurious to the client. Although the pricing was not luxury, Positively Packaged wanted it to feel like a luxury. When prices are low, the product looks cheap, and they were offering the same type of offering they offered their custom clients at a more affordable price.
Adding in the teal gives the brand the ability for pops of color when it is needed. The dark grey lends itself nicely to a bold call to action that is great for use all over the website.
I love to use icons to help illustrate a story or an action. It helps visually show and explain things to the consumer with much fewer words. Since I customized all of the icons, I continued to enforce the business in a box idea, in all areas of the website and marketing materials, without them looking childish.
With all my research, branding, and workflows done, the mockups came along pretty organically. It was so fulfilling to see the project come to life.
Not going to lie, this website is enormous, and the prototype is still a work in progress. It has been such a fun experience because I have needed to dive deep into the customer's journey to ensure this site is functioning correctly. Due to the size of this project, we have needed to rework things a few times to ensure it is perfect, but I think that is the best part of working on a job of this caliber; you get to calibrate with a team. Working with a team allows you to get others' opinions and viewpoints to see the website through another person's eyes, enabling you to make edits and changes on the fly and work out the kinks before the launch date.
Ahh... social media they ever changing experience, keeps us on our toes. What’s great is you always need to learn new tricks and research what is working in the moment. I love that because it always keeps ya learning. Here are just an example of two campaigns I created for Positively Packaged.
© Crystal Sullivan 2021