Why Rebrand: The New Website for Kathryn’s Design Shop
By Kathryn Wheeler / January 18, 2019 / 0 Comment
Yesterday, January 17, 2019, I launched a new website design for Kathryn’s Design Shop. I’m thrilled with the outcome that myself and the team at Invigilo, LLC reached. So, I wanted to share why I felt the need the redesign and how I decided on the look you currently see.
Change for the sake of change is not always for the best. However, in our rapidly evolving world, change is inevitable. The main reason a business changes their logo or overall design style is because the old or original design no longer reflects what the business is or does.
My original website for Kathryn’s Design Shop was created before I left my day job and officially became a full-time freelancer. It was designed with the idea and expectation that Kathryn’s Design Shop would run like a small business. For example, I focused on using my website to inform people about what my business was and all the different services I offered. This is all well and good, but now that I have almost a year of experience freelancing full-time, I needed a website that reflected what Kathryn’s Design Shop has become.
Rediscovering My Website’s Purpose
First, I needed to change the intent and purpose of my website. After analyzing my website and how users were interacting with it, I realized that the majority of the pages were never viewed and the page most users cared to spend time on was my portfolio pages. New to running my own business, I assumed users would interact with my business site like they do with other design agency websites I researched. Typically, users will want to research what they’re looking for, see what businesses offer the services they need, and then reach out to the businesses whose websites gave them the most information and seemed the most helpful.
For larger agencies and small businesses with products and prices consumers can easily compare, the above process makes sense. What I realized over this past year is that individuals and businesses who hire freelancers or outsource certain services to contractors, their process differed. Rather than shopping around for freelancers like products or services in a store, businesses or individuals would advertise their need for a designer and treat it like a traditional hiring process. This is when I knew I had to reevaluate my website and its purpose.
The old website focused on driving people to my services pages as I expected the customer journey to flow something like this:
When in reality the way I was gaining clients was different than the traditional small business. Rather than focusing on advertising my business, I searched for jobs (via freelance job sites), applied, and sent people the link to my website so they can view my portfolio of work. Therefore, my actual purpose of my website was to first and foremost highlight my past work and then also describe who I am as a designer and what I offer. My new customer journey now looks more like this:
Redesigning My Portfolio
Once you understand what your website needs to do to attract business, the designing part is easier. For Kathryn’s Design Shop, I had to treat my website like a portfolio, rather than a store. I switched from marketing my services to marketing myself.
This is what inspired me to include photos of myself throughout my site and have all my pages direct users to viewing my portfolio and project pages. The end result is a much simpler user experience and a minimalistic design.
A quote I refer back to often in my life is, “change is constant.” As you get older, you grow and evolve as you learn new things. A business isn’t any different. As time goes on, businesses adapt to the ever-changing needs of their customers. Therefore, rebranding is not just making one change – it’s a constant act that businesses are doing everyday.
Change for the sake of change is not enough reason to overhaul a website, but change for the sake of improving your user experience and overall business is what rebranding is all about. I believe that Kathryn’s Design Shop’s new website has changed for the better, and I’m thrilled to share this work with you all.
If there’s anything you think Kathryn’s Design Shop could be doing better, please don’t hesitate to let me know!