As a young business, the company was quite small and I was pretty much on my own when it came to finding and executing projects. This had some cons, but also lots of positives—I learned through trial and error, was able to work fairly independently, and had tons of creative freedom.
The ability to sign up for a membership should have been the most important feature on the site; after all, memberships were core to the LAB’s business model. However, the original site did little to explain the benefits of a paid membership. I wanted the site to effectively answer one question: why should entrepreneurs pay to work at the LAB rather than working elsewhere? On the home page, I broke down member benefits into simple points. Then, I provided an easy way for users to sign up for email updates or become a member.
I worked with the existing style guide and color scheme to create designs that were consistent with the look and feel of other LAB materials. I created over 15 drafts for different home page designs before narrowing the selection down to 4 distinct layout options to present.
Finally, I sat down with the LAB’s co-founders and presented my suggestions. During the presentation, I was careful to explain the reasoning behind each of my decisions. The proposal was received enthusiastically and I was promised a meeting with a developer to discuss implementation. Unfortunately, my internship ended before this was accomplished.
The logo and primary brand colors had been defined by a designer who was no longer with the company. My job was to look through old materials, round out the brand with a few additional details, and put all the info on paper so that another designer could easily pick up where I left off. I began with a lot of research. I looked at dozens of style guides that were available online, including ones for Google, Firefox, and the Barbican. (Three truly excellent examples). When I finally began compiling the LAB’s style guide, I took care to illustrate the design principles I was describing.