Creating a digital destination that captivates consumers is tricky, but Tracy Turner knows exactly how to create a powerful online store. As the senior designer at Volusion -- an e-commerce software platform that helps businesses grow quickly -- she is well-versed in designing beautiful online stores and creating products that users enjoy, well, using!
She sat down with DesignRush to share her top tips for creating beautiful campaigns with strong UX, what businesses can do to make agency partnerships more valuable, the area of design that startups should focus on and more!
"Be clear about the goals you want to achieve."
DesignRush: You've worked on so many design projects, from branding to package design. Which areas of design are your favorite and why?
Tracy Turner: I focus on web design and thoroughly enjoy this area of design. I really like the iterative quality that it has and the ability to adjust your design and message to meet the needs of each of your visitors.
I am very business-minded, so I also like to be able to see the metrics attached to a site that I have been working on to see how it is performing and resonating, but I don't let the data totally dictate my design decisions. I more think of the numbers as a tool to improve.
DR: Which areas of design do you think are the most important for new or growing businesses and why?
TT: I believe it is most important for a new and growing business to be constantly creating content on their social channels. This focus will help keep their loyal customers informed and make it easier for customers to share with their friends and followers.
Keeping up with your Google Analytics data and taking a close look at your user path will also help businesses to know what their visitors are seeing when they enter the website and where their customers are leaving/opting in, This information will help businesses decide where to focus their design resources.
Once you have new designs/prototypes completed getting user feedback on their site is a great way to know what is working too (even if it is just friends and family giving feedback).
DR: What are some of your favorite designs or campaigns that you have made and why?
TT: My favorite design campaign I’ve worked on at Volusion was the Volusion Rebrand, which included collaboration with designers from all three design teams at Volusion and trust from the company’s leaders. I worked with a team of six designers (three in-house designers and three freelancers) to complete a 40-page website in three and a half months. It was challenging and motivating to be designing and managing the visual direction of this site all at once. There were some long nights but having our site up so fast really gave a jump-start to our new brand.
DR: Where do you find inspiration?
TT: I find my design inspiration on the website Dribbble and by keeping an eye on other tech brands I admire such InvisionApp, Wistia, and MailChimp. I also am inspired by our product design at work and through Pinterest for personal pet projects.
DR: What advice do you have for creating an effective design, brand identity or campaign that is also beautiful and cutting-edge?
TT: In order to create an effective design, brand identity or campaign that is also beautiful and cutting edge, I strongly recommend having a unified brand. Have a logo and a general brand feeling (colors, typefaces, imagery) and stick to it across all of your communication with your customers. It is vitally important to also know your competitors. That will help you stay differentiated from them and allow you to call out your advantages.
DR: What advice do you have for creating a brand identity that is creative and effective at capturing consumers at the same time? What things should designers or businesses keep an eye out for in order to achieve both?
TT: Determine a brand identity that matches the tone of your product or service in order to create a brand identity that is creative and effective at capturing consumers. You will attract the right customers and set the right expectations with new potential customers.
DR: What advice do you have for clients who are hoping to hire an agency for a design project? What questions do you wish they would ask or information you wish they would provide to make the process easier?
TT: I would tell any client who wants to hire an agency for a design project to be clear about the goals they want to achieve but also try to allow the designer creative freedom and time for research and exploration. I believe the best ideas come out when the creative process is given a chance and room to breathe. I also recommend asking for multiple options or variations from the designer at the beginning of a large project so that the client can give feedback and direction early on in the process. I also strongly recommend getting an estimate of how long the project will take and have a written agreement on an hourly rate. Nobody on either side likes surprises when it comes to billing.
I recommend the client give feedback on a project promptly and be as specific as they can. The most constructive feedback comes when the client can articulate why they feel initial goals and requirements are or are not being met with the current design. And I also advise staying away from directive feedback that dictates to the designer exactly what they should change. This type of feedback can be limiting and cause the final product to suffer.
DR: Any final thoughts, comments or words of wisdom?
TT: I can't stress enough how important feedback and exploration is to the design process. If you allow these two processes to happen naturally you will end up with a better brand with the least amount of hassle.
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