New York City cultivates a diverse and creative culture – its role as the “hotspot” of all the latest trends in various niches remains intact. It’s unsurprising to know that the web design scene in NYC is also high-impact, bustling with ideas and activity. Along with California, New York is well known for hosting thought leaders of the industry as well as being opportune ground for start-ups.
Many web design agencies are only headquartered in NYC and outsourced across the globe. That’s not always the case, however, and we can safely say that NY hosts a very large number of web design agencies of different profiles, ranging from companies with thousands of employees to studios with only a handful of professionals. Either way, this is a scene that’s constantly evolving at a fast pace, setting the ground for trends and practices with a global reach.
That being said, NY presents a fervently competitive environment for website designers - one which demands of professionals to be at their very best in order to make the cut and stay relevant. Here are some common practices which web design companies in New York are currently guided by.
Designing for a global market
NY-based firms emphasize the importance of versatility and adaptability in their projects. Web design is driven by the market, so companies aim to adapt their style and technical expertise to the different demands of clients. These are largely affected by cultural differences or particularities of the type of industry they design websites for. This is important to note because NY-based web design agencies have set an example to web designers worldwide, showing us the expertise and understanding necessary to reconcile demands of the market and specific demands of clients with their defined stylistic approach.
Overall, when you research web design agencies in New York, you’ll find that they emphasize their adaptability and data-driven approach as a major strength, but without failing to showcase their own visual identity.
Web design and beyond
What falls under the scope of “web design agency” entails much more than just web design services – and the demands are increasing. As agencies grow and competition gets tighter, the clients are savvier as well, so it is commonly advised to look for web design agencies that have extensive teams of professionals to work on different aspects of the project. It’s becoming increasingly common that businesses look for web design agencies which have a marketing department, for example.
Considering that New York is one of the most competitive and industry-leading environments when it comes to web design, you’ll find that these firms offer extensive services to follow through a web project in its entirety, such as:
- Website development
- Website design
- Branding services and graphic design
- Digital marketing (SEO, content marketing, etc.)
Website development and design are the absolute basics, obviously, but you’ll find that larger agencies offer the other services we’ve listed as well, for a complete and wholesome approach to the project.
There’s no need to emphasize that responsive design and mobile optimization are an absolute must for agencies in an environment such as this one as the only way to design modern websites. Along with that, NY agencies are increasingly relying on UX experts to help design intuitive websites and conduct intensive user testing – a practice that is expected to become the norm worldwide.
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Agency collaborationAs we’ve mentioned in the previous point, the required fields of expertise for designing an effective and strong website are only growing. New York is a great place for web design agencies because it’s a great environment for networking and potential collaboration.
Professionals who want to stay relevant and informed have many opportunities to attend professional retreats and networking events both locally and outside of New York. The web design community is flowing with ideas and creativity, and with the use of forums and the incredible popularity of web design podcasts, it has become tightly bound. There are also platforms directed both at clients and professionals which serve as directories to showcase profiles of reliable website design and development companies. One of the most popular platforms is DesignRush, which describes itself as “A Digital Destination to Inspire Creativity and the Discovery of Marketing, Design & Technology Trends”. It allows users to search companies (web design among many others) and filter the search by region to see profiles and websites of the most relevant ones. Here you can also see the price range that New York agencies have set – and how incredibly varied it is. Companies set a minimal budget required for their project, and it ranges from $1000 to tens of thousands of dollars.
Platforms such as DesignRush are used by clients to find agencies, but also as platforms for the community of website designers. More and more agencies are open to uniting their forces and collaborating on projects, so professionals are striving to stay informed and connect with other companies through platforms and events.
Likewise, it’s not uncommon that clients offer their own in-house teams for certain aspects of the project, such as graphic design, and have their team collaborate intensively with the web design agency.
Trial runs and subscription services
It’s becoming more and more commonplace for NY web design agencies to offer their services in shorter blocks of time, from 20 hours on. It’s the “sprint design” strategy and it has become very popular as it offers clients a chance to do a trial run and establish whether they’d like long-term engagement. It’s also a good approach to work when it comes to collaborating with in-house technology teams, which, as we’ve mentioned, many clients bring to the project. Not to mention, when web design services are offered in blocks of time, the deadline is precise and the transaction more effortless, so the project can be completed gradually.
Secondly, New York web design companies have entirely adopted the retainer or subscription-based contracts with clients. Of course, this is a worldwide modus operandi, as it’s really much more practical and necessary with modern websites, which require constant up-keeping.
Lastly, let’s look at a few of the hottest trends you’ll find New York web designers following in their work. Of course, practices vary from professional to professional, but here are some elements which are currently very popular:
- Interactive content – designers make websites which will not only provide information but engage and entertain visitors, providing a personal experience while exploring the website. Quizzes are one of the most popular forms of interactive content in 2018.
- Animated logos and backgrounds. Designers seek to tell a brand’s story in a compelling way and engage visitors through artistic expression. Animated logos, menus, backgrounds, customized loaders, etc. are all commonly used forms of expression which NY designers get creative with.
- Video and fluid shapes.
These are some of the most popular examples, but either way, you can be sure that NY firms have their finger on all the cutting-edge web design trends.
New York web design is a great scene to follow closely as we look to the future. It’s especially interesting to see companies collaborating and seeking partnerships – the environment is competitive, but its inner workings have formed a rather specific ecosystem. This is an ecosystem that truly creates opportunity, follows the market comprehensively, and allows for creativity to flow.