SUREFOOT COMMUNICATIONS: Putting Our Best Foot Forward

Creating a website from scratch is always a challenge for a designer like me. The technical aspect demands ultimate thoroughness in details and patience in perfecting several iterative tasks. A bigger challenge, however, is coming up with the concept upon which the website will be built. These challenges are never more pronounced than when working with a company that specializes in communications, such as Surefoot.


Surefoot’s customers include recognizable brands all over the world, including Siemens, Bupa and Rombouts Coffee, to name a few. Their longest standing customer of eight years is Citizen Watches, a brand known worldwide for its quality and accuracy. Surely, Surefoot must be doing something great to keep this high profile customer satisfied!


Seriously, positive proof of Surefoot’s excellent delivery of services, is the fact that most of its growth comes from referrals of previous clients.


I was a little apprehensive when I got the job to create Surefoot’s website from scratch. Communication is power, and he who communicates best wins. That is what Surefoot believes in, and strives to win everytime. It was a challenge to equip them with the best means to stand out of the crowd.


When designing Surefoot’s website, I employed the same techniques Surefoot uses when dealing with its customers. I listened to what Surefoot wanted their website to do for them and their clients, learned the business and the business goals, came up with ideas which were repeatedly critiqued and improved upon by Surefoot, and eventually found the one just right for them.


Surefoot uses creative skills in coming up with materials for their customers, whereas I use technical skills coupled with creative inputs. I formulated concept designs and wireframes, designed user interaction, created visual designs, took client portfolio and testimonials, and coded them all in XHTML and CSS. I regularly ran the website by Surefoot's team, and improved it based on their feedback. The critiquing and feedback was no easy task, I tell you. Try presenting a design concept to a room full of designers and it’s like telling a roomful of chefs how to cook! “Through the eye of a needle” comes to mind, but thankfully, Surefoot designers were all very cooperative and professional, which helped all of us to achieve our common goal.


During the final stages of my work I designed a flash and XML based system for their portfolio, so that Surefoot could continue to update their website any time they wished to do so. They can now do the updating on their own, surely a true reflection of a website’s adaptability and efficiency.


As I have already mentioned, there is no resounding proof of an exemplary performance other than the repeat business a satisfied customer brings in. I am glad to know that Surefoot is satisfied with the work that I did. Such a good job wouldn't have been possible without the assistance of some of the best people I have worked with, in Surefoot. I would like to thank Karl Austen, for his overwhelming trust in me. Rest assured, Karl, I will not let you down. Donna Street, I would like to thank you for being with me through the eye of the needle.


I am still actively involved with Surefoot, working with them regularly on mid-size projects. These are mostly email campaigns, online mailers, flash banners, and web analytics which we do for their customers such as Citizen Watches, AVM Machines, and Polycom.


Today, Surefoot brandishes its new website that has already attracted many new clients. Their new look exudes charm, professionalism, and creativity. Surely traits you look for in a communications company. As for me, I am glad to have worked on their website, gladder even to be still engaged with them!


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