Boy, wouldn’t if be cool if that were true! As you may have gathered, it’s not. (It’s a little outside our skill set.)
What is true is that we’ve just been selected to create an identity and establish a Web presence for Ann Arbor / Ypsilanti-born biotech startup, DeNovo Sciences. (Now that’s our skill set.)
DeNovo Sciences has been getting a lot of attention recently because they’re on the path towards being able to detect and capture cancer cells in the bloodstream before they find a landing site in the body and metastasize. As they say it:
We hope that this would one day lead to the holy grail of detecting cancer even before the discovery of primary tumors.
Pretty cool, huh?
So is the fact that this local startup company is hiring a local company (us) to develop their brand with funding provided through Ann Arbor SPARK.
And this isn’t an isolated incident. It’s part of a movement.
There’s a whole lot of high tech entrepreneurship going on with support places like SPARK, Tech Transfer, and in labs, basements and small businesses around town. We think a flood of good news for the region is about to break.
And, even though Hile Design will never be the source of a life-changing medical or technological breakthrough, we think it’s pretty cool that we get to shine a spotlight on the folks that do.
Building a great website involves more than memorable design and clever content. If a site doesn’t behave the way the user expects it to, if it loads slowly or puts obstacles between you and what you’re looking for, it’s going to sabotage itself.
Or, to put it another way, do you shop at Amazon.com because of the clever, cryptic navigation or because you can buy things without thinking too hard about the process? Do you keep returning to Wikipedia because of the massive homepage animation with the “click here to skip” button that appears every time you visit, or because you can go straight to the information you’re looking for? The user’s efficiency counts, no matter what kind of site you run.
Part of my responsibility at Hile Design is making the sites we build work (in both the user experience and technical senses of “work”), and as of now that includes our own website. Every feature, page and behavior on our new website has been brought up, shot down, reviewed, considered, revised and reconsidered before being added. On the agenda from the beginning, though, was a way to allow any user to browse our portfolio on their own terms rather than ours. I pushed hard to ensure that as little as possible gets in the way of what you’re looking for. We might be a design and marketing shop, but usability is as vital a part of marketing as the appearance. Read the rest of this entry »