Web Advanced of Irvine, California, USA won two Gold Stevie Awards for Best Website in The 2013 American Business Awards: for their own website, in the Advertising/PR/Marketing category; and for their work for Pfister Faucets, in the Products-Durables category. (The 2014 edition of The American Business Awards is now accepting entries - get details here.)
We asked Andrew McLendon, Chief Creative Officer at Web Advanced, for some advice on effective website design.
Andrew McLendon appreciated the Stevie Awards he received earlier this year, but also enjoyed the reactions from the clients on their award winning websites. “Our history of winning Stevie Awards has helped us maintain great relationships with accounts we’ve truly enjoyed working on,” said McLendon. “After six to eight months of hard work and close collaboration on a project, there’s a sense of accomplishment upon delivering the news that is has been named a Best Website of the Year. It’s also great to be forwarded the enthusiastic reactions from the client’s team. It becomes company news for them.”
In addition to the two Gold Stevies, Web Advanced’s work for StockCross Financial Services picked up the Silver Stevie for Best Financial Services Website.
“The Stevie Awards team makes these business awards a personal experience, mostly through the phone and email contacts that we receive from them regarding announcements, and the awards events themselves,” added McLendon. “It’s always a pleasure to hear from them. It always seems to be good news!”
While Web Advanced is passionate about creating great user experiences across connected devices, McLendon advises company’s not to worry too much about the volume of website traffic. “Our role is typically to generate higher quality leads and to guide users to meaningful purchasing decisions,” says McLendon. “Upon launching an online marketing campaign, we provide a lot of additional value by optimizing our clients’ websites through A/B, multivariate, and usability testing. The data informs incremental improvements to the design and you start to see significant jumps in performance.”
“It’s always interesting to see which strategic assumptions hit the mark and which need more thought,” continues McLendon. “Sometimes the content strategy needs adjusting. Other times, a different photo simply performs better. Every percentage increase counts! You can easily get obsessed with chasing improvement. Overall, leads may convert differently depending on your industry, but in every case it’s best to optimize upon a foundation of good website design and proven landing page components.”
McLendon sometimes works from home and finds Dropbox is the most practical application when not in the office. “We have our internal network that is accessible remotely, but Dropbox is so practical when working between home and the office. Using the Public folder in Dropbox is also convenient since there’s no need to grant unique access to specific files inside of it. It’s replaced our usage of HighTail for sharing huge design files with clients and collaborators.”
Inside every Creative Director there’s an artist yearning to break out. McLendon is no exception, and would have loved to write and illustrate a children’s book. “I enjoy creative storytelling,” says McLendon. ”It’s a highly competitive industry, but children’s books can produce a beautiful blend of art and story. Recently some friends called me out on having a children’s book on my coffee table and then were instantly absorbed upon opening it. Those artists are doing great work.”
McLendon is just as proud of his team at Web Advanced, however. “Ultimately they are the ones that keep me going. Producing great work is always rewarding but the process of getting there needs to be enjoyable. Working closely with a talented team that shares a great sense of humor is what makes the tight deadlines and late nights pass by easily!”
About Andrew McLendon
A talented artist and design professional, Andrew joined the Web Advanced team in 2000 as the company’s first employee. Leading Web Advanced’s design and production team as the company’s Chief Creative Officer, he has overseen the design of more than 500 client projects over the past 13 years. Andrew combines an artist’s eye for aesthetic detail with an expert’s understanding of technology and business solutions.
Web Advanced is a full-service digital agency that specializes in building effective brands and enabling organizations to grow online. Our heritage in user centered design and software development is combined with a "business minded approach" which has made it possible for Web Advanced to deliver no-compromise, digital experiences that generate demand and loyalty for our client's brands.