Brave new year

January 11, 2011

Last year was different. We saw the rise of the iPad and the smartphone reigned over the mobile phone. Making websites has changed into creating content. Media is no longer the message, being on Facebook is not a strategy. Corporate and governmental systems are in disarray, as for the first time in history people can and do question government authority. Are your procedures reasonable? Is you profit margin reasonable, is it good for the community or the environment, is there another easier way of doing things? Power is with the people, not in the system, because now people can build systems of their own.

Brand Manual has acted as guinea pig for it’s whole existence. We started this company to prove that quality can be sold. We preached branding as something companies do internally and that “the business idea” can never be “to make profit”, but has to offer something valuable to the customer. We find it really tempting to grow in size, using the business model of design or ad agencies. But that would not help us achieve what we are aiming for, which is to become an change agent inside companies. It is easy to give good advice and leave, but our goal is to create lasting understanding and value through well designed products and services and a clearly formulated business proposition.

Now to the topic of the day: our website. We wanted to create something intuitive, something that works the way people surf the net. Jumping from interesting bit to interesting bit with no dominating structure impeding progress. Our previous site was a linear presentation, this one has no structure. Secondly we dropped Flash because of the personal grudge Steve Jobs has against Adobe. We don’t really care who’s right and who’s wrong. We just like it when things work on iPhones too. And there’s no mouse-over, because on touch screens that function doesn’t really exist.

The problem we couldn’t solve is how to make people read the copy, instead of just looking at the picture. The most valuable part of our work is not the graphic design, it is the thinking behind the design that matters. But without pictures the site would be a bit dry. Enjoy!