In August 2017 we were approached by Steve Smith, founder of what was then Always Agile Consulting LTD.
Steve’s specialism is in Continuous Delivery – a software development methodology that allows extremely fast (you might even say continuous) delivery or release of code. To give some household name examples – Google, Amazon and Netflix develop and release their software using this process.
What we did
The problem is that while CD is an Agile practice, Always Agile Consulting didn’t accurately describe Steve’s core services and expertise so after he decided to rename, he needed to rebrand and get a new website. Which is where we came in.
Following our initial consultations and exploratory discussions, we agreed that Steve needed a visual identity to help carry the new company forward, and a responsive, content-managed website to communicate his services.
On learning that Continuous Delivery can be very difficult to understand and adopt, we proposed that a small set of illustrations and patterns could help leaven this perception as well as provide a nonliteral explanation of what Steve does.
How we did it
As with any project we started out with some exploratory discussions to learn about Steve, his subject, his business, and where he’s taking it. In this case we did this remotely – exchanging emails, phone calls, and a couple of google hangouts. This key step allows us to ask a lot of questions to help develop the brief, to allow us to work accurately and appropriately, and ensure both parties expectations are aligned.
Following that we start on sketches and wireframes for the larger parts of the project – in this case starting with the logo and web homepage. These two work streams developed in tandem – logo options narrowed down to a final choice as wireframes for more key pages of the site were being designed.
If we have a “house style”, it’s probably quite clean and quite minimal, and the logotype for CDC is no different. Our initial sketches and options explored ways to represent the circular nature of the delivery process, in some cases incorporating the company’s initials.
The mutual favourite doesn’t feature any such overlap between name and symbol, using a circular mark that is instantly recognisable to anyone familiar with Agile or Continuous Delivery. For those that aren’t, it provides ample indication as to the nature of the process.
With a choices on logo and typography finalised, we incorporated a deliberately bright colour scheme, intended to interrupt the fairly conservative, blue-dominated landscape that CDC will operate in. We distilled all this down into some identity guidelines that we could then apply to the web build.
The CDC site is based on WordPress given our client’s level of comfort/experience with it, not to mention 5 years of blog posts to migrate across! Our processes allows us to continually test our sites as we build, rather than build first and test later, allowing us to catch many weird display and functionality bugs as we go.
As the build progressed we stayed in touch Steve, with plenty of catch-up calls and hangouts making sure we could direct our efforts into whatever page or illustration we needed to. Eventually we invited Steve to our Trello board so he could be more hands-on in directing our work from there, creating his own tasks, and checking them off on completion.
Upon launching the identity and website site in November, Steve enjoyed great feedback from his peers. He’s reported that 50% of his site’s traffic now comes from mobile devices – visitors that would previously have been lost to a non-responsive site.
Furthermore, we were pleased to receive some really kind feedback:
I engaged Bureau to design a new website for my business Continuous Delivery Consulting www.continuousdeliveryconsulting.com from scratch. From the outset, I was impressed with the care, attention, and professionalism of Mat and everyone else at Bureau.
We spent a lot of time discussing my business, my brand, and my website requirements before going into a prototyping phase and ultimately the delivery of the final website. I’m very happy with the end result. The website is responsive, suitable for mobile devices, and is a great advertisement for our expertise in Continuous Delivery. Thanks Bureau!
We’re pleased to have worked together on such a fun project, making this one of the highlights of our year.