The new Tivix.com

This week we launched a complete revamp of Tivix.com, and I thought I’d write a few words about the process.

Firms like ours are definitely susceptible to the coblers’s children phenomenon. We can create create kick-ass projects for our clients, but thinking about our own website is hard!

With that in mind, we brought an outside designer, Adam Diehl, in on the project (we know enough to know that an outside perspective really helps this process).

We kicked off with an extended whiteboarding session, talking about our positioning and messaging. We’re big believers in the power of simplicity, so we don’t like messaging like, “We empower paradigm-changing platforms for social-enabled cloud blah, blah, blah.” We wanted a simple description of what we do — the kind of description that any visitor to our site would instantly understand.

We decided that our essential promise to our clients is, “We build solid shit and we don’t flake.” Seriously. That’s pretty nicely-differentiated positioning, actually, in a field where many of our “competitors” are web development shops that have a reputation for flakiness (in fact, about a third of our flow of inquiries come from clients who are looking around because they are unhappy with their current shop).

But we needed to re-state that a little more politely. Eventually we decided on simply Tivix develops custom web and mobile applications. We believe in {versatility}, {scalability}, {usability}, {agility}. To me, this was perfect. A nice, clear, understandable description of our services, followed by a simple statement of beliefs (with a set of rotating nouns).

From there we moved to wireframes, with Adam suggesting layouts and approaches. We wanted a design that would be well-suited to optimizing for mobile (using CSS media queries to fluidly adjust the UI to any size screen).

These days everyone with an iPhone thinks they are a photographer, but we wanted an actual professional. So we brought in Bambi La Plante, who did a great capturing images in our office (the main thing that Tivix sells is the quality of our team collaboration, so having visuals that communicate this was really important to us).

The whole process took about two months, and we’re very pleased with what we’ve launched. We feel it reflects our company well — and it feels like a site that we can grow with for a while. Huge thanks to everyone on the Tivix team for breaking out of the “cobbler’s children phenomenon”: successfully building and launching a terrific new web identity for ourselves.

I’ll let Sumit follow up on this post with some comments on the technology choices we made on this project.