Erskine Design Redesign

by Simon Collison

26 Reader Comments

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  1. Love the approach you took from the beginning. I know how hard it can be when you design and develop something for “yourself”.
    Great read nevertheless.
    May I suggest you create a Mac version of your Project sheet. Maybe just a pdf version or something.
    Cheers.

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  2. Sorry to raise the build/builds issue again. For me, “build” clashes, but for others it clearly doesn’t. The problem is that the name Erskine Design will conjure different images for different readers. Some will picture a single entity, others a group of people. Thus you can’t win, whichever way you go.

    In this circumstance, I always prefer to rephrase. For what it’s worth, here’s my take:

    “At Erskine Design, we passionately build accessible, dynamic and stylish websites without cutting corners.”

    It’s not perfect, but clears the confusion.

    It’s worth noting that the name Erskine is sometimes used as a singular and sometimes as a plural noun across the site, as in:

    “making Erskine a unique partner”
    “Erskine look to protect the investment you make”

    Sorry for ths pedantry. I should also say thanks for an informative, open-hearted and engaging article!

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  3. @segen: Thanks for your comments, and the note about a PDF project sheet. It is a good idea that has already been discussed and something we may well provide. Despite what a lot of people think though, we will continue to provide a Word version as this is important for numerous UK sectors and companies under the evil regimes of outdated IT teams who enforce Word and IE6, still acting as though it is 1999.

    @Ralph: I might surprise you here, but I have decided to use your suggestion! Your compromise still allows us to describe Erskine as a group of people rather than one single-brained entity, and still allows us to use “build”.  Ultimately, I have to make a change for fear of turning away possible clients who think we’re lazy with grammar, especially in the States.

    I feel like I gave in, but still won. Result!

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  4. I’m glad the suggestion was useful!

    Albeit with some trepidation, I feel I should point out that the background image on your About page also presents the same issue.

    Good luck with all your wonderful web design work. I realize this is really a side issue!

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  5. I really enjoyed reading that in treating your organization like a client, you focused on the content first. “With the content written, projects chosen, and approaches solidified, we began to sketch, wireframe, and prototype.” Yes, yes, yes! It’s such a simple thing, to consider what one should say before figuring out how to package that communication, but all too often clients ask us to redesign without first addressing what they’re designing and communicating—and many agencies happily comply.

    Kudos for forcing Erskine to be a role model of the kind of process and behavior you promote with your clients.

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  6. I love the idea of developing a questionnaire for prospects to complete before they ever contact you. It’s a great way to get them thinking about their site in terms of your work, and I’m sure it leads to better conversations from the start.

    I work for a small agency, and we’ve been trying to implement something like this for a while. But our account managers always argue that visitors won’t fill out long web forms, much less a 5 page word doc.

    Do you have any insight on how many people take the time to complete your worksheet? Or value judgments on the quality of the responses you’ve received so far?

    Thanks for a great article!

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