The new Fluid Creativity website: the Creative Process

The world would cease to function if it wasn’t for the underappreciated. Forget your movie stars, your football players and your stick-thin fashion models; the real heroes of this lonely planet we call Earth are bin men, Subway sandwich artists, and web designers.

Yes, web designers. While most code-hardened web developers would claim that designers are little more than latte-slurping, skinny-jean adorned wimps who draw pretty pictures for a living, we at Fluid Creativity happen to think they get a bit of a raw deal.

In fact, we don’t just think so – we know so. Take the process of building of our new website, for example.

Below is a blow-by-blow, fly on the wall (and entirely fictional) account of the various trials, tribulations and horrors our poor Creatives went through while designing our beautiful new website.

Enjoy…and remember; if you see a web designer sunken in a corner crying into their vanilla-scented mochachocaccino, go and give them a hug.

 

Day 1 – Concept Briefing Day

Meet our Creative team, Nicola and Scott. They’re generally considered to be well-rounded and sensible members of society. They’re also good at drawing websites.

scottPictured: Scott and…erm, Nicola, if she was at her desk.

Within them, however, lies a deep-rooted toughness, a world-weary and cynical approach fostered by years of unreasonable demands and incredibly vague feedback on concepts. They can handle anything that is thrown at them; they’ve heard everything.

Well, they could, at least. That was until what they, and their future offspring, will forever know as ‘Concept Briefing Day’.

Shortly after receiving the entirely-reasonable website brief from our MD Lee Turner, our Creatives sat down with Lee, Business Development Manager Chris, Head of SEO Mit and…well, everyone in the business really (because everyone can draw, innit?) to discuss expectations for initial concepts.

Needless to say, it was a bloodbath. Below is a short transcript from the minutes of that initial meeting. Please note that the names of suggestees have been changed to protect the privacy of our employees (and their future employment prospects):

Tee Lurner: Okay guys, so you’re already aware that I’m looking for the moon on a stick, although, if necessary, I will accept any planetary body mounted on something I can hold in a single hand.

Nicola Thomas: That sounds reasonable.

Tee Lurner: Now, we all know what basics we need: aesthetically-pleasing graphics, a brilliant user experience that is intuitive and a pretty colour scheme. But what we’re really looking for is something different…something with a bit more…pazazz.

Scott Green: Could you elaborate please, Tee?

Tee Lurner: Well…y’know…it’s like…erm…well, I’ve got an idea in my head, but I can’t get it down.

Scott Green: That’s useful.

Tee Lurner: Instead, I’ve decided to let the team have their input. Proceed, team.

Shris Cmith: Hi guys, I’ve had a fantastic idea that will revolutionise the world of design and potentially help me steal your jobs and give up this writing nonsense. A spinning homepage. I want to make the homepage spin like a vortex, with the copy clanging about like clothes in a washing machine. We could also market a rotating chair that allows readers to view the text as they normally would, provided they can synchronise their spins in time with the spins of the homepage.

Scott Green: What?

Shris Cmith: You heard. Spinning homepage – can you do it?

Scott Green: Erm…no? I don’t think that’s possible, or advisable.

Shris Cmith: Well, you’re creatives, I’m sure you’ll find a way.

Reorgina Gayner: Well, I had an idea that I think will work. It’s a white background, with a three column layout; the main content is down the middle, with navigation on the left and ads on the right. The header could be a kind of blue, I’m thinking hexadecimal colour #3b5999…OH! And we could have big photo at the top of each page that users can customise!

Nicola Thomas: You mean Facebook?

Reorgina Gayner: Erm…

Khris Cershaw: Well, why don’t we make it like the Apple website?

Collective workers: Yeah!

Nicola and Scott: No, no, no, no, no, no! No! Enough!

Tee Lurner: Well, I suppose this didn’t exactly go to plan. Right, go and draw me a nice website. Oh, and I want my face on it too. That’s important.

Nicola Thomas: When can we expect the content for the site?

Tee Lurner: Tomorrow. We’re just collating it now.

Day 2: The Initial Concept

And so, our Creatives set about designing a user-friendly and eye-poppingly amazing website with more pazazz than any human could ever comprehend (mainly because pazazz isn’t a word, and is therefore incomprehensible).

That was until they received the content. Which had been drawn on reams of paper in black biro. I have to admit that I was also going through a weird phase at this point, and had vowed only to write my half of the site copy using parchment and a quill. They can just insert it into their computers via the disk drive, can’t they?

content-uploadWhy won’t this content upload?!

Apparently not. Nevertheless, once the content had been successfully transmitted into a digital format, our put-upon Creatives picked up their fancy computer pens and pads and drew a concept the likes of which the world had never seen.

And the world will never see it, because it was roundly torn apart by non-Creatives – those monsters!

“I don’t like it…but I don’t know why”, exclaimed one unnamed member of the online marketing team.

“You know…it’s good, but it lacks a certain ker-whammy. It just doesn’t have that fizzlebanged explosia effect, you know what I mean?”, befuddled another.

“How much did this cost? I hope this didn’t go over the £5 budget”, said you-can-probably-guess-who.

“Right, this design is good, but it’s not quite right. Rather than give you our feedback in word form, we’re going to go away and draw you a concept. We’ve got some crayons somewhere.”

 

Day 3: Amendments

 

If you’ve ever wondered what a website drawn by someone with no design knowledge, a box of crayons biros and poor sellotaping skills looks like, wonder no more – it looks like this.

joke-wireframe

joke-wireframe-2

joke-wireframe-4

Yes, those were the suggested amendments our Creatives had to work from. “I’ve had it!” Scott declared, “I could be making videos for a living instead, dammit!”

Still, our Creatives are a hardy bunch and not even a poorly-drawn concept was going to stop them from filling our new website with incredible design and the best darn user experience ever conceived. Plus, they have been told the change would only take 5 minutes!

Two hours later, they were finally finished.

Day 4: Review of Concept

 

The team rubbed their tired eyes and slurped at their coffee. Some stroked their beards. Others scratched their faces, even though they didn’t need to.

“I like it”.

Relief washed over our team like a sponge over a naked lady in a video I once found in my dad’s VHS collection. It was soon soured, however.

“It definitely has that humplepickle-terrorgogising-shabangbang factor, but we need to emphasise how award-winning we are. Can you put every single award and accreditation we’ve ever won in the footer please?”

“Okay…”

“Actually, best put all the awards we’re probably going to win in there too. The Nobel Peace Prize, the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, Mr. Universe 2014; you know, that kind of stuff.”

Day 5: Completion

After deciding that listing every award imaginable on our website would mean that the footer dominated the entire site (and determining that websites can’t actually win the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film), the website concept was completed. Although not signed off, just in case we want to make any last minute changes, or in case someone sees a website they like and fancies ripping it off two weeks before launch.

Settling in for a nice cup of coffee and/or tea (for agency workers aren’t allowed to drink anything different), Scott and Nicola reflected on the occasionally frustrating but always rewarding creative process. What great jobs we have, they thought.

And then, the phone rang. “Hi guys”, a developer said. “That’s a lovely website you’ve drawn, but…erm, we can’t actually build it.”

A problem for the developers, and next week…

Thank you for taking the time to read this spoof of the Creative process and please keep a eye out for the work our Creatives have really been doing on Friday 14th February 2014!

Chris Smith
  • Written by on 24th January 2014 at 13:14
  • “Chris Smith is a copywriter and social media manager at Fluid Creativity.”
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