27/08/2014

Working with a Web Designer – Step 2

Being on the same page, or “getting each other” from the start is key to my success with clients. There have been a few times when I’ve started to discuss a project before I realized the client clearly hadn’t looked at my work. I cannot stress enough how important it is to find someone who is already creating the type of end product you are looking for. I don’t go to a barber for highlights, and you shouldn’t come to me for them either. But if you want a clean, contemporary website that features cheerful colours and a well organized navigation, I’m your girl.

Research your web designer | kaitcreative

When I start looking at an inspiration board (see Step 1) I’m not just looking to see what you are looking for, I’m looking to see if we’re going to be a good fit. If I can clearly see our aesthetics don’t match I know not to move forward with the project.

Did I just tell you to take your business elsewhere? Well I hope not, but if we’re not a perfect match, it’s okay  to go in different directions. We’ll save us both a lot of headaches, and you’ll be much happier with someone who really gets you.

Step 2: Research the Designer

The websites a designer  showcases should be the ones they are most proud of, and will likely represent the type of work they are interested in creating for you. If what you find has no resemblance to design of the websites you loved while you were cruising around and making notes, keep cruising and find a designer whose portfolio does. I hope that didn’t sounds like “piss off”, because what I  really mean is I want you to L. O. V. E. me.

Researching a Web Designer | Kaitcreative.com

Here are some tips for finding a designer

  • Do take a close look at the designers portfolio. Do you get a fuzzy warm, “I’m in love” feeling?
  • Do go to the websites they’ve built and see what they are capable of. Do you like the galleries, how the navigation works, the font choices and layouts?
  • Do read their testimonials. Are they from mom and dad? or from that website you adore?
  • Do make sure you’re budget is in line with the designers fees. If they don’t list them, ask!
  • Do ask for a list of what and when deliverables will be provided to you by the web designer
  • Do ask for a project timeline outlining key milestone and final release dates
  • Don’t ask for a website mock-up for you as a free pitch to get the contract. A quality designer will never spend the time to develop a custom design without getting paid.

In case you missed it, here’s Step 1: Get Inspired

xo Kait

19/08/2014

Working with a Web Designer – Step 1

Using Pinterest for Website Inspiration | Kaitcreative.com

Have you ever asked someone to build you a website? Did you expect to hand them some money and have a website you love magically appear? Reality check, you’re going to do a bit a more than write a check. It won’t be that bad though, I promise.

I’ve broken the process into a five step plan, so you can tackle one step at a time and avoid the dreaded overwhelm.

Step 1: Get Inspired

To get what you want, you have to know what you want, AND  you need to be able to clearly communicate this with the person making your vision a reality. Create a document, or even better a Pinterest Board, you can use to document your likes and inspire your new design.

Here’s one of my web design Pinterest boards to get you started.

Using Pinterest for Website Inspiration | Kaitcreative.com

http://www.pinterest.com/kaitcreative/websites/

Spend some time cruising the web and take notes of websites you like.

  • Do take screenshots and add notes on your likes and dislikes.
  • Do include a list of top competitors. You don’t want to look like any of them.
  • Do make notes on the layout, functionality and messaging of site that stand out to you.
  • Do include notes on colours, photos, and textures.
  • Do curate your inspiration board to present a cohesive vision you’ll love for a long time.
  • Don’t stick to websites just in your industry.

When you hand over your inspiration board, not only will you be able to provide your designer with a clear idea of what you expect, you’ll have a checklist of the features you’re looking for. Bonus!

Stay tuned for Part 2 coming next week!

Do you have any inspiration tips? I’d love to hear about them! Comment below or tweet me @kaitcreative.

xo Kait

25/07/2014

Stockist Profile: Take Heart Shop

take heart shop  | #kaitcreative stockist

kaitcreative is expanding outside of our little hub in the south-west corner of Canada, and we’re travelling far, all the way to East Austin, Texas. Take Heart Shop contacted us through Etsy, and we’re so glad they did. Nina opened her boutique to offer thoughtful home decor, accessories, gifts and art, back in 2011. You can read more about the shop in this Apartment Therapy post, or you can read my interview below!

take heart shop  | #kaitcreative stockist

I wish I could drop by but you’re so far away. Please tell me about your location.

 Take Heart is located in East Austin. East Austin is an area going through a lot of growth. There are lots of new and creative businesses popping up in the area. I think of East Austin as a place of great creativity.

Who are the people that come into your store? What do you think draws them in?

Most of my customers are women of all ages and the awesome guys that come in with them. They seem to appreciate the unique and special items in the shop. People who are looking for a a sweet gift or something special for themselves.

take heart shop | #kaitcreative stockist

How do you source the merchandise your carry? Do you follow a particular philosophy when looking for items for your shop?

 I pretty much find all of my new and handmade products by hunting online. I spend a lot of time looking for special items that speak to me. I look for thoughtfully crafted products, items that would be a treat and/or a good gift. I also hunt around for vintage and one of a kind items a thrift shops, estate sales and garage sales. I have a handful of locally made items made by artists I have known for a while and have always admired their work.

What sets Take Heart apart from other shops in your area?

The theme of Take Heart is modern, handmade, and vintage. I don’t believe there is another shop in town with this combination of products. There really is a lot of heart at take heart. My mother, myself, and two friends work at the shop, we all enjoy the conversations we get to have with the customers and getting to know the regulars.

Is there something in your shop you’re really excited about right now?

We just received a new line of pottery I love called Mazama, handmade in Portland, Oregon. Beautiful mugs, cups and sake sets.

take heart shop  | #kaitcreative stockist

What is your favourite store right now (other than your own)?

One of my favorite shops that i love checking out is an Australian shop called Mr Kitly.

Do you have any social media accounts we should be following

We are on Facebook and Instagram under take heart shop

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Thank you so much for including us and we love having your sweet cards in our shop.

kaitcreative