As a Marketer and Visual Communicator that often works with entrepreneurs and startups, it is always my goal to align and enhance the brand through messaging. In the age of search engines, the web presence is an integral part of the brand and often acts as the sole point of reference for customer decision making. So, having the correct words affects both being found and converting users to customers.
Web Design — The Gladiator Way
The Gladiator approach to web design is often bigger than just applying branded visual elements to an existing template. We explore the company goals and past marketing efforts in order to fill in the gaps and present the most complete story to the audience. The most fulfilling challenge of being a visual communicator is taking huge, abstract ideas and distilling them into communication systems that educate, present an offer, and drive action. I have one question that guides the strategy behind every page.
What do you want them to see, learn, and do?
When we were asked to rebuild the MediaTech Ventures site, our understanding of their perspective on the world of capital and startup culture was barely a pinhole in the atmosphere of what felt like another planet. MediaTech Ventures is a holding company that drives investment at the intersection of tech and media by connecting public, private, and corporate investors with innovative startups. They see media technology not in the traditional siloed verticals of music, video, film, publishing etc. but as one connected industry fueled by the work of the creative class. Their company structure includes five pillars that span multiple traditional media verticals and serve different industries so telling their story can get complicated very fast.
Finding the Story
After reviewing the site and nailing down our proposed plan of attack, we had a kickoff meeting with the client to discuss content and direction. This redesign featured a fundamental shift in the target audience. The original site was geared toward the community that they wanted to serve: startups, professionals across all different media types, and, largely, the creative class. Our new task was to address investors. The discussion was a crash course on venture capital, public capital, the state of the creative class, and startup investment. In this discussion we identified three audience segments: Venture Capitalists, Public Investors (Municipalities and other agencies), and Corporate Investors (Spotify, Hearst, etc). We identified the priorities and possible partnership opportunities for each. This was the foundation for our story.
Establishing the Structure
In order to create efficiency in the design process, our team creates content outlines starting from the sitemap. We find that this step helps us evaluate the story we’re telling. Additionally, it helps the designer know what is intended to be on the page while giving the writer a feel for the desired page structure, so that they can work simultaneously.
Designing for Venture Capital, the MediaTech Way
With the structure in place and the content underway, the next task was to make it beautiful. The web project followed a brand refresh so the design phase was completely open ended. We knew we wanted to keep the dark background from the original design, but bring in some of the new design elements that were designated during the branding process.
I knew I wanted to incorporate asymmetry to represent innovation, but I wasn’t sure how to implement the line patterns. Visual research turned up some pretty cool ideas.
- When asking people for money, numbers and statistics are important. So we highlighted the numbers using counters. The animation adds movement and helps to quantify the impact of the facts presented.
- The diagonal line patterns take on a whole new level of dimensionality when the parallax effect meets the layering of images.
- The structure of the landing pages were meant to identify the user, present understanding of the challenges they face, and offer MediaTech Ventures as a potential partner in problem solving. We ended each page with an opportunity to chat with the team.
MediaTech Ventures seeks to drive the transformation of entire industries through an economic framework. They are doing something completely new, which meant that it can be difficult to explain succinctly. In the process of redesigning their website, we were able to focus on the key audiences for this site (as opposed to other sites in their portfolio) and give those audiences the information that they need to take action.
Gladiator was able to deliver a beautiful, innovative website that clearly communicates what potential investment partners need to know. As a result, the site was awarded the 2019 GDUSA Web Design Award.