Design is the face of Wunderkind. Behind it lies a well-oiled system of operations that provides thoughtful service to hundreds of clients every day. While our clients have experienced the impact of Wunderkind’s design capabilities first-hand, many prospective clients don’t know about how our in-house Design Studio contributes to the success of each campaign we help run. After all, shoppers online won’t be incentivized to complete a purchase if they’re not shown visually pleasing experiences.
What is the Design Studio?
Much like a traditional agency, our Studio produces bespoke creatives for every client. Service is a pillar to the Studio and designers work with clients to ensure they create as native-looking an experience as possible. From hover-state behavior to email-input interactivity, Wunderkind designers have the autonomy and the expertise to recommend the perfect web design elements for a campaign. To maximize client value, the Studio has also created a set of best practices—updated regularly with new designs, coding trends, and enhancements. Brands trust the Design Studio as consultants, as partners, and as leaders in the industry.
How does the Design Studio Work?
The breadth of the Design Studio’s work can be divided into two categories: Onsite and Email. Onsite deployments, known as “creatives,” may consist of overlays (modals), top bars, annotations (added buttons or quick callouts), side tabs, and more. An onsite campaign could consist of any combination of creatives, with email capture as the uniting factor.
Along with onsite, email campaigns are designed in tandem to ensure visual consistency. Personalization and urgency are the main themes of Wunderkind’s email designs. Wunderkind has developed a high-performing strategy in its recommended suite of emails, crafted to counter the generic and ineffective “batch-and-blast” email structure. Design Studio leverages principles of hierarchy, legibility, and balance to place emphasis on a call-to-action and key site components (such as top site categories). The Design Studio allows clients to customize elements to maintain brand continuity, and welcomes iterations and testing to determine best fit.
To create these campaigns, the Design Studio enlists software and standards to create interactive work for diverse clients. Designers utilize Sketch for initial client-facing mockups, then they and expert software engineers translate approved designs into responsive, coded creatives using in-house software. The team has perfected the balance between pixel-specific customization, efficiency, and effectiveness.
Creating high-performing visuals
A lean team built and maintained on a central theme of continuous evolution, the Design Studio is constantly applying data-backed solutions to inform its work. From synthesizing strategic testing insights to identifying opportunities in performance, producing new concepts to creating visual adjustments, the Studio is always aiming to heighten client success. To achieve this, designers study results of A/B tests in order to apply those learnings to best practices and future recommendations.
Within the team, each designer is equipped with a personal specialty, ranging from expert knowledge of CSS to user experience, interaction design, and more. The variety of knowledge sets and interests contributes to a culture of collaboration, heightening the quality of work and encouraging the development of new concepts. With these new concepts came a need for a more formalized “concepting” structure and, ultimately, led to the creation of the Design Studio Hackathon. Working either as small groups or individually, designers create concept prototypes around a central theme. Top concepts are presented to the Performance Strategy team, who will run tests to determine each potential concept’s effectiveness.
Beyond just the Hackathon, the ever-increasing demand for new interactive concepts inspired the development of an Interactive Web Design team. The team specializes in custom code and usability, hosting internal office hours to consult with the Design Studio about how best to create new client experiences. Much of these endeavors end in the creation of new “surprise and delight” experiences. Experiences designed to surprise and delight give clients the ability to deploy gamified, on-site features such as animated SVGs, toggle elements, slot machines, spin-to-win, scratch-offs, and more. Each carries the goal of engaging the user beyond the static inactivity of a standard webpage overlay. The Design Studio’s Interactive Web Design team has pioneered and continues to develop new gamified experience concepts, drawing inspiration from real-life reveal techniques, game design, and user experience research. Imagery, custom artwork, and animation are always used intentionally. Such elements should be relevant to reinforce the core message or action of the experience, not a disruption or distraction.
Giving employees a voice
Regardless of tenure, each designer has the opportunity to create new Design Studio best practices by presenting fresh takes and ideas at weekly team meetings. Recently, the growing field of web accessibility has been a frequent topic of research and, therefore, a topic discussion at such meetings. From these discussions, the Design Studio has made inclusivity and usability standard in its work, adapting client-provided accessibility standards to each brand’s unique creative needs.
The mastery of Design Studio
Wunderkind’s systems have proven to not only deliver for clients, but exceed expectations—much of that success is due to the attention and thought of the Design Studio. Web design is an ever-changing industry. Pushing the boundaries in the ever changing realm that Wunderkind occupies requires research, consideration, risk, and confidence. Practiced reliability and innovation earned Design Studio its reputation among clients as a force of operation and master of its craft. Wunderkind designs for all users and constantly evaluates its work to ensure a pleasant experience.
This is the first post of the forthcoming Wunderkind Design Studio series.