As is always the case, building a website for your own company is inevitably more difficult and a more lengthy process than ones you build for others. It's personal, right? This was true for our new fynydd.com site as well, but we're really happy with the results.
This time we chose to use the opportunity to enhance our design-first process, and refine our development strategies, which include the use of SASS, developing our own CSS grid system, and prototyping in PHP. The blog is also notable in its simple but elegant use of Markdown with multimarkdown metadata extensions as a data source. This is an example of using the right technology for a specific need.
As you can probably surmise, the prototype isn't something that's thrown away. Quite the contrary. Its lifespan is that of the site itself. As we enhance the site, our design team can work out the visuals and interactions on the prototype. When we're ready, the development team will use the prototype as a reference (and code source) for any platform changes.
Fynydd is a goal-oriented company. So the end result is the most important aspect of any project. In this case, the goals were a site that conveyed a modern design aesthetic and debuted our new branding. We also wanted the site to be accessible across devices, with the full experience. And as is always true for me, there had to be deference to the content.
So the design has a modern, flat look, without distractions like shadows, bevels, extraneous links and buttons. And the content is a real narrative that can be read from top to bottom, without the need to process jargon. The home page acts as a distraction-free gateway to the important areas of the site. Once you navigate away from the home page, the navigation allows you to explore the rest of the information, without feeling the need to jump back to the home page first. This is especially true for the tablet and mobile views, where the navigation is presented as familiar side menu, revealed by a similarly familiar "hamburger" button.
So what do you think? Drop us a line using the form below and let us know your thoughts.