When we officially launched the Brick Factory on October 1, 2011 we quickly put together a four page website + blog in the days leading up to the announcement.  Due to time constraints, the placeholder site, which is still up, is dead simple.  The homepage features our logo, a paragraph of text and an illustration of a factory. I wrote a few pages of content.  And that is basically it.  We intended to build a more ambitious website before the end of 2011. We had big ideas and our plan was to completely start over.

And then stuff happened.  Client work.   Football season.  Holidays.  More client work.

We finally got the design process started back up in early 2012.  We set out to build the Taj Mahal of digital agency websites.

We researched.  We made wish lists.  We site mapped.  We wire framed.  We designed.

And after a month of work we came to the realization that we didn’t like any of the new designs we had come up with as much as we liked the original design we had quickly put together back in late September.   The new concepts were a little too complicated and tried a little too hard.  We were overthinking things.    The end result was something that looked like what everyone else was doing.

The original design just felt like a better fit for us for a variety of reasons:

  • It is really simple.  We preach understated design to our clients.  We need to practice what we preach on our own site.  The original design achieved that goal.
  • The factory drawing become integral to our branding.    We did the original drawing as a goof.  It turns out the drawing is a great blank canvas for us to work from.  The factory drawing served as inspiration for a piece of art that will hang in our office and for our 2011 holiday card.   Inspired by Google Doodles, we have also taken to customizing our homepage around holidays and anniversaries.    As time passed, it became obvious that we needed to keep the drawing as an integral part of our site.
  • The site works.  Anecdotally, we have gotten a lot of compliments on the site.  But you have to take that with a grain of salt.  No one is going to tell you they hate your site.  Analytically, the site is performing well.  Key usage stats are healthy.  Leads are coming in and being converted.  As a firm, we have exceeded all of our revenue projections these first six months.   The site ain’t broke.
  • We like it.  Perhaps the most important thing.

So instead of starting over we decided to get out of our way and to build on top of the original design we put together in late September.   Look for Version 1.1 in early April.  Below is a sneak peak at some of the new sections and features we will be launching.  Click on the full screen option for a better view of the designs.

About the Author
Todd Zeigler
Todd Zeigler serves as the Brick Factory’s chief strategist and oversees the operations of the firm. In his sixteen year career in digital, he has planned and implemented campaigns for clients including the Pickens Plan, International Youth Foundation, Panthera, Edison Electric Institute, and the American Chemistry Council. Todd develops ambitious online advocacy programs, manages crises, implements online marketing strategies, and develops custom applications and software. He is bad at golf though.