sketches, seashells, and a tablet next to flyers I designed in Miami

In 2013, I spent the summer interning for The LAB Miami, a coworking space. I proposed a comprehensive website redesign, created a style guide to build out the brand identity, and promoted weekly events with bold flyers.

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.

One of the founders expressed interest in updating their website, so I took on the project. I began by identifying problems with the current website; then I worked to find solutions.

Navigation & site planning. Writing copy. Crafting mockups. Pitching the idea.

The original navigation was difficult to use. A link labeled “learn” led to a calendar of upcoming events; information about renting the space was accessible only after clicking on “become a member.” Both the language and information hierarchy of the site prevented intuitive use. I developed a more intuitive site map with simple navigation options: Home, About, Events, Membership, and Contact.

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.

a slider containing pages from the style guide I designed

I created a style guide that not only explains appropriate color and logo usage, but also conveys the LAB’s vibrant personality.

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.

a flyer and seashells

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