Reconnecting with Nicolle Fuller of SayoStudio
I first met Nicolle, an alumna of my alma mater, when she was asked to speak at Lewis & Clark College after being rewarded the Outstanding Young Alumna Award for her successes as a science illustrator. At the time, I was a junior checking off pre-medicine requisites while hanging on to my love for art and foreign language. Clearly, a liberal arts education served my passions well. Ultimately, my combined interest in art and science drew me to Nicolle Fuller’s vocation. Shortly thereafter, Nicolle and I designed a SayoStudio summer internship to be funded by the Miller Internship Award.
Fast-forward five years, I am working as a freelance web developer and designer. I am also just starting to find my way in the modern world of remote work. Nicolle and I had been in touch intermittently, as we had become good friends during the short summer internship. Nervously, I admit, I decided to contact SayoStudio to offer my website development and design services. As you can see from the title of this blog, I did land the pitch ;-).
I designed the SayoStudio website using WordPress for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, WordPress is the most versatile content management system (CMS) in the world. Developers and non-developers alike can implement virtually any user experience (UX) or user interface (UI) design. The possibilities are essentially limitless, especially after learning the ins and outs of the WordPress file structure. Whether designing a site from scratch or customizing a theme, I can modify a WordPress website to suit any business’s needs.
Secondly, WordPress makes up nearly 34% of the top 10 millions sites in the world. This does not only speak to the quality of the CMS, but also means that WordPress sites are easy for search engines to crawl because they are familiar with the simple framework and link structure. How does this benefit your business? This means that Google, the most used search engine in the world, can easily find and rank your site once you have launched an efficient Search Engine Optimization (SEO) campaign.
Strategic Web Design
The SayoStudio website has a horizontal primary menu providing clear, familiar paths for navigation. Personally, I recommend this classic, navigational style for nearly every kind of business. My only exception to this rule applies to businesses wanting to display a relatively small amount of content on their site. More specifically, content that is much more visual than verbal. In these instances, the expandable/collapsible vertical menu is my favorite alternative and can provide a lasting impression on users if done correctly.
For Nicolle’s website, I featured the most important content front and center. Thus, users can internalize SayoStudio’s unique selling points (USPs) within seconds of visiting the site. This is extremely important in any website design because it can take as little as 0.05 seconds for users to form an opinion about your website, and in turn, your business. Furthermore, several call to actions are present on the homepage, allowing potential leads to easily introduce themselves or request a quote for a custom illustration.
Responsive web design (RWD) ensures the SayoStudio website is accessible on every screen size. Globally, roughly 50% of all website traffic is generated from mobile phones. This means having your website look good on mobile is essential. Potential leads may find your website while browsing the web on their iPhone, or they may return to your site on mobile to double check your pricing while on the run. This being said, your site needs to be just as visually appealing and accessible on a mobile phone as it is on a desktop.
SayoStudio Website Design Tailored to its’ Services and Market Niche
Due to Nicolle’s line of work in science illustration, she has a large amount of visual content. As a result, I had to get creative in order to diversify how I displayed images and illustrations. Note the several different gallery styles: a grid format for SayoStudio’s portfolio, a tiled mosaic format for the case studies gallery and a slider carousel format to display individual case studies on the homepage. Even small variations like these go a long way.
Nicolle’s 15 years of experience in science illustration have resulted in rock solid processes for illustration creation and client management. Having these processes in place is a vital part of what makes SayoStudio so competitive in its’ market niche. Therefore, how Nicolle works needs to be shared in a clear and concise manner. I designed the my process page with this in mind. You will see that I have displayed a relatively large amount of important content in a fun, organized manner. As a result, I have encouraged users to actually read the content.
Web Design for Science-based Companies
I specialize in web design for science-based companies ranging from biotech startups to laboratories. My Bachelor’s degree in Biology and experience in science illustration help me to communicate scientific content in a comprehensive and visually captivating manner. Today, an informative and tastefully designed website, catered to your market niche, is indispensable. Especially, when the impact of your new product or discovery is multi-faceted and/or complex.