Highland Capital Partners is one of Newfangled’s oldest clients. We started working with them in 2002 and completely redesigned their site in 2004. The current site design has changed little from its original form. It’s not a flashy-looking site, adorned with the latest visual trends, but it’s served HCP well for the past six years because of the following reasons:
Good design is invisible. When you experience good design, whether it’s a web page, magazine spread or airport signage, the first thing you notice is content, not the container. Any good designer understands that form follows function; if they don’t, they’re a decorator and not a designer. We built HCP.com on a simple but scalable three-column structure that doesn’t get in the way of the site’s content. We kept the color palette and design elements simple and allowed size, color and position of content to define the space on each page.
A simple but effective grid structure allows the Team page and the market sector pages to expand or contract effortlessly as content is edited. A year ago, HCP extended their reach into China and asked us to create a Chinese-language sub-site. Since the original site had a simple, scalable structure, we didn’t have to re-invent the wheel to provide a Chinese site that was distinctive in its content but with visual continuity to the U.S. site.
From the beginning, HCP trusted us as experts in web development and followed our recommendations regarding information architecture, visual design and SEO optimization. We also listened carefully to their needs and made the necessary enhancements to HCP.com as the company grew over the years. This mutual respect and trust is the cornerstone of a solid, long term relationship that has benefitted both companies. A good example of the trust HCP placed in our expertise was our recommendations for the home page information architecture. Instead of overloading it with content, there are several key portals with small chunks of text that provide access to deeper and more detailed information. Good SEO optimization also targets search traffic directly to the sub pages.
Our goal with every client is to provide them with a well-designed, high-functioning website — one that will, hopefully, stand the test of time. We may end up redesigning Highland’s site at some future point, but it won’t be because it looks dated or is not producing the kinds of results our clients expect from us.