P'unk Ave Redesign Process
January 6th, 2017

Designing For Yourself

Matt Goold đź‘€
Design Director

Designing for yourself is challenging. What starts out as “This will be fun!” can quickly turn into “This is fun, but this is hard!” which can easily slip to “I’m having no fun and this is impossible!” 

When P’unk Ave identified that our website was not growing with our company in the way we needed it to, we decided to start the redesign process. We thought to ourselves: this will be fun! We design solutions for people every day, and a lot of those products are websites. Creating a website for ourselves is something we are especially qualified for—and yet, when we really got to going, nothing came quite as easily as we expected.

Firstly, it is incredibly difficult to find the time to design for yourself when the majority of your time is spent designing for others. Prioritizing this work for a new punkave.com was, at times, trying. It was hard to feel like we weren’t cheating on other work. Understandably, our own redesign was always the first thing to be moved to the bottom of the list of to-dos. Clients and potential future clients take note: even to our own demise, you are our number one. Our ride or die.

Anyway, we approached this challenge of finding and making time several different ways over the year and a half (gasp) we spent in redesign limbo. We tried designating Fridays, we tried asynchronously chewing away, we tried an overnight trip off-site to Lake House Inn where the full team was sprinting. Each time, we made progress—sometimes big leaps, other times small—but none of these approaches were able to continue and sustain the forward motion the project required.

p'unk redesign kickoff
Kicking off a redesign sprint in January of 2016 at Lake House Inn.

So we decided to attempt a process that we believe in deeply: our own.

The only way we could guarantee this work to be completed on time (and done well) was to schedule it like it were any other project and go through the process we ask so bravely that all of our clients go through. We knew we might even learn something along the way. So that is what we did. We reset. 

We identified project stakeholders, decision makers, who was to be working on the project and at which points, we mapped the project out in Basecamp (and Float and Trello and Slack!) and then we dug in. We interviewed staff and clients, we created a strategy document, we had a design presentation, we sought approval from decision makers.

p'unk ave strategy
Cutting no corners.

What for us as designers felt like would be unnecessary formalities, actually wound up being transformational in the success of the project.

It was working! Once we started, things began to click and we moved along in a way that was efficient and fruitful.

It was surprisingly tough to accept that shortcuts do not work— even when you are an expert— but that frustration unexpectedly validated our process. Sometimes the shortest route is not the quickest. This phrase has hung around P'unk Ave for a long time as an internal mantra, and now we have experienced its truth firsthand. We feel confident that we don’t ask anything of our clients that we don’t ask of ourselves, and we feel even more confident in the effectiveness of our approach to design.

The internet moves quickly and websites need adjusting. I expect we’ll be critical of this website in a few more years when our needs grow yet again. The next time I promise to #trusttheprocess sooner.

Matt Goold đź‘€
Design Director

Check out another article
November 3rd, 2015
Saying "Thank You"