Site Showcase - DesignbyKadie

Ahh, readers - you are going to just die with this great site design. It shows that planning, a great eye for typography and color with great branding photos! 

Kadie is one of our awesome members here at SSDG and we are so excited for her new site release! Here at SSDG we love whitespace, good site planning and typography ... ummhelllooo we're designers on SS does it come any other way? Kadie fits right in with us :) Plus her studio has it's own instagram, aka: we're all a little bit jealous. Make sure you go check out her site!


design by Kadie Smith


Template Chosen?: Hayden

Why did you choose that template?: Being a variation of Bedford, Hayden had a lot of features to offer! I knew that I really loved the index home page of my last site, so I was sure to find a template that had that feature. But a huge reason we redesigned the site was to add a blog, and with that blog I really wanted to include a sidebar. (the full bleed banner images definitely didn't hurt either!)

What was the Client's Objective?: Well, it was an internal project, but the motivation was that our team grew from a one-woman show to a team of three. Marisa, who is in charge of our digital content and marketing, wanted to streamline our products and service offerings so that we could track sales and the needs of our audience. We also wanted to add value to our customers in the form of a blog, newsletter, opt-ins, workshops (coming soon) and courses (coming soon)

Tell us a bit about the design process?: We started with a complete analysis of the current site. Aesthetically, it was working fine, but our services were confusing which meant that we got a lot of inquiries for projects we really didn't want to do. Our first step was to create three very distinct and clear branding packages and then require someone to select which one they were interested in for the inquiry form (which saved us from explaining that we don't currently offer hourly design services.) We then created a purpose and CTA for every page to make sure we didn't just put in "filler" content. The next step that was crucial to the site was to hire a photographer to take fresh new photos (photography is SO important to websites) and we were so happy with the photography that Talitha Bullock did for us! We added some illustration to highlight some key features and blog categories and after a TON of troubleshooting, went live!

How did you help the client differentiate their business through design?: This was an internal web redesign, but it really helped to assign a clear purpose or goal for every page. This made us incredibly intentional in the photography we chose and the way we laid out the content to make sure that it was easy to navigate. Our studio also has a super strong minimalist approach to design, which we wanted to show in our web design to attract our ideal clients.

Is there custom development? What about custom added CSS? Can you tell us why you did or did not use these edits?: There was a tiny bit of custom CSS used in the design settings just to force some spacing we were very particular about. Overall, we were super happy with the Hayden template and didn't feel the need to include a bunch of extra features. We also try not to use too much extra coding in client sites to make sure that edits are something they can manage on their own, so it was a great exercise in learning how to customize our template without relying too heavily on custom development!

What are the top three creative features you used in the design?:

  1. One was banner images. We were so in love with Talitha's photography and added a bit of spacing in the banner images to make sure they were a big display feature.
  2. Another feature we loved was the illustration. Usually I am a major type-based designer, but I do have a love for illustration, so it was fun to add in these elements to the new design.
  3. The third feature that we wanted to play with the formatting of the copy on the website, and to try to align text consistently across all devices and to push one font (Garamond) to maintain hierarchy throughout the site.

Anything else you want us to know about the site?: Opt-ins were a new function for the website, and we did a little work to create automation opportunities on the homepage.