A tablet, computer and phone are shown with confetti surrounding them and brightly coloured square shapes inside the screens represent a website .
Published February 3rd, 2015

Welcome to the new Honeystone website! My name is Elodie, I'm also a recent addition to Honeystone as a UI/UX Apprentice, where one of the first projects I contributed towards, was Honeystone's very own website rejuvenation. Now the website is live, I will be writing why bespoke web design is engaging and creative whilst highlighting some of the most interesting bespoke qualities of Honeystone.com.

As a web design company we really have indulged ourselves, and have created a virtual tailor-made suit that fits us perfectly. We designed Honeystone.com in-house (of course), from top to toe, with custom graphics and code created from scratch, even our map on the contact us page is custom-coloured to the brand, with a map pin hand-drawn by Honeystone. Nowadays it is also a prerequisite that a high-quality website should look good on any device. So you will also find that our website has implemented responsive design to fit perfectly on any sized screen on any device. This is because a well-designed website represents taste and values to the online world, while interaction and functions should be a piece of cake (and we love cake).

In this day and age, people don't think twice about acquiring and creating a website for their business, it is usually the first place a potential customer would investigate your company, so first impressions matter. In an online world where people are taking off-the shelf Wordpress templates left, right and centre, and even some stand-alone sites modelling themselves on these popular templates, standing out from the crowd will get you noticed. Think about your website as your online home; do you really want to be in a block of flats? You could be in a space where people walk in and go “wow”. In terms of website for business, bespoke website design is a sure fire way to get your unique qualities out into the online world. You also have more room to design the experience of your customers with a bespoke website and have the opportunity to create a lasting impression.

User experience is a hot topic in the online design world today. Debates range from the best design layouts based on eye behaviour, to whether a user should be prioritised over the business needs of the website owner. Ideally, the goals of a user would also contribute towards the business goals, while businesses must make sure their customers are engaged in an experience that enhances loyalty and popularity. A user is much more likely to have consistent goals compared to a business, usually because a user will always want an enjoyable experience of a website, therefore this creates a solid base to work from and prioritise.

At Honeystone, we designed with the user in mind. The look and feel is designed to be airy and modern with limited copy so a user can experience breathing space. We took the time to make all our custom iconography, custom graphics and colours used around the site fuse seamlessly with our re-designed Honeystone logo (our starting point). This created consistent branding throughout Honeystone.com, and for a user, consistent branding becomes an easy form of identification. As well as this, touches of functionality like the darker menu highlight of the current page, means that there is a subtle reinforcement of what page the user is viewing, to help them navigate through the website. Furthermore, a customised back-to-top arrow in the right corner follows the movement of the page as the user scrolls up and down to read, meaning the menu bar is always a one-second click away.

All the websites we produce are designed to be accessible and optimised for those who are visually impaired or who use a voiced screen reader to read a website. We test colour ratio when we choose colours for a website to make sure they can be seen properly and attach 'alt attributes' to images so screen readers can scan and read aloud our webpages in a structure that is easy to understand for the listener. Not only do our websites look good and function well for the end user,behind the scenes the way you can update your own bespoke website is tailored to you, so everyone interacting with a Honeystone bespoke website gets the right experience for them.

When thinking about requirements for a website, it's important to take a step back and think about where you want to head in the future and your goals. Think how you want to present yourself in the online-world, as well as looking good, consider how you want users of your website to interact with your website and remember you. The Honeystone website has been in the making for awhile and that's good. The best things take time, care and attention to detail just like anything that is bespoke, and taking a step back designing for your own company involves an extra wide stride to get it right.

Choosing to have a bespoke website means there is so much more room for creativity and innovation. It is the way we at Honeystone have ended up creating some amazing looking sites and pushed the boat out in terms of functionality and visuals.

We would love to hear from you and your opinion about our new website. Also, if you are interested in Honeystone building a website for you, big or small, we are always happy to answer any enquiries.

Please feel free to comment your own thoughts and ideas regarding bespoke design online.

Thank you for reading,

Elodie.

Elodie avatar

Elodie Som

I'm Elodie, an Apprentice Web Designer at Honeystone, I turned up to my interview with photographs of hats, a fashion magazine and a book of typography. Honeystone are helping me learn all about design, and are very tolerant of the fact that I am a complete chatterbox.