This post was written by DeAnne Curran a senior designer and developer here at Visible Logic.
I am proud that I had a chance to speak at Maine’s very first WordCamp, August 15-16, 2014. I was a participant on the design panel, and got to share with the group some thoughts on our process, the tools we use and design trends.
If you are a client of Visible Logic that has had a WordPress walk through with me then you know I can’t stop raving about how much I love WordPress. What’s not to love, it’s easy to use for our clients and has lots of features and built-ins that make our work easier plus the ability to create something totally custom.
In addition to meeting some other WordPress enthusiasts I had a chance to listen to a range of talks given by theme and plugin developers, marketers and other WordPress contributors. It was great to meet others developing for WordPress and pick their brains about what plugins and hooks they use. It’s nice to say, “look what I just found you can do with a custom taxonomy!” and have someone else be just as excited about it as I am.
The keynote John Eckman, the CEO at 10up spoke about community and what community means for WordPress. WordPress now makes up 60.6% of all the websites whose CMSs we know, and 22.9% of all websites. With this many users and developers there is a community built around WordPress, from the most basic users, to the people working hard to create the very next version of WordPress so that it’s easier and even more secure and everyone in between. I feel proud to be a part of the WordPress community.
One talk on the schedule that really hit home was Empathy: The secret ingredient in WordPress development, work, and success from 10up’s Jason Clarke. Jason’s talk was about changing the focus from just being a great designer/developer to really listening to a client’s / audience’s needs. He gave some great examples of how looking out for the client’s best interest could make a huge difference, even if it was something as simple as changing the perma-links to something people could read from the default. He also pointed out why it’s such an asset, because it’s not easy. It takes extra time and thought to see the perspective of the end user’s goals.
This is something that I think Visible Logic has nailed. We do a discovery with clients to make sure we fully recognize their goals and will dig deeper to really understand them. I think this is something that separates us from a studio who only does development. Rather than, “tada, we built you a website, ” it’s “tada, we built you a better website than you imagined!” It’s been wonderful to see clients we have worked with grow and become more successful. We know that it isn’t just our design that’s got them there, but those extra steps, the empathy, and looking at the bigger picture with them that’s the difference.
He ended his talk with a quote from another WordPress talk from Paul Clark, “We are building microphones.” I can’t agree more. We aren’t just building the structure and design of your site we are helping create a platform for you to broadcast it.