(source: Laughing Squid)
Web design companies love to tout the awards they've won. Many times it is one of their only selling points. Not to say that having an award-winning website under your belt isn't a nice bragging right to have as a design firm. After all Blue Fountain Media has won its share of awards. What I would like to emphasize is that winning awards should not be the priority as a design firm.
Blue Fountain Media was founded on the principle that winning an award doesn’t make a website successful.
First, it's important to define what it means to be a successful website. You have to take into account budget, ROI, repeat visitors, and branding. Are there calls to action? Is the website sticky? Are there Web 2.0 featured implemented, like Twitter integration or dynamic embedded Google Maps? Is there high quality content that will attract links and visitors? Is the website accessible, and friendly to both search engines and users? These are the things that grow a business.
Awards don’t take these factors into account. Most of them are rewarded based on design, special effects, etc. which may have brought little ROI for the client, but that fare well in awards. The focus is on factors that are sometimes less significant to the needs of a business. Although it’s fine to win awards as a firm - and we have won our share of awards - that shouldn't be the only selling point a design firm has to offer. If you Google “website design” many of the paid results use the phrase "award-winning," but once on their website, there is little information about ROI on these award-winning projects.
Our creative director, Gabriel Shaoolian, founded Blue Fountain Media after having worked at a large digital agency. His last project was to build an automobile website that cost over a million dollars. The site won a couple of awards, but he couldn't see that reflected in what the client made from it. He wanted to start a company that would be fully accountable for results, where websites would be a lucrative investment. The sites we build help companies grow, and if we win awards along the way, it’s just an added plus.