Primitive Spark Pivots

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Today Primitive Spark launches an all-new website. Our new site is more than just a pretty face and a sleek new responsive design, however. Our site now tells the world about a fundamental shift in the way we think about and communicate what we do. In a world filled to the brim with web designers, we’re setting ourselves apart as the specialized digital product designers we’ve become.

Why Retreat When You Can Advance?

Twice a year the entire Primitive Spark team spends a day away from the office for what we call an “Advance” (no such thing around here as a “retreat!”). During our Advances, we focus on issues that often get lost in the day-to-day shuffle. We look at the intermediate and long-term trends that are shaping our industry. We reexamine our core competencies and industry specialties. We strategize how to improve our work, and look for ways to add value, both to our clients and to ourselves. At our Advance last Spring, we took a long, hard look at how the web design industry is being commoditized, with ever-greater competition, lower budgets and shorter timelines. We thought deeply about who we are, what we do better than anyone else, and how we can help you, our clients, do great things.

What We Do Creates Millions for Our Clients

We had some interesting insights. For one thing, while we will always be evangelists for user-centered design, we realized that it’s not something many clients actively seek out (especially those who haven’t yet realized how critical it is to long-term success). So we started reviewing the tangible value that we have created for our clients. We realized that, based on company sales and VC investments that were primarily driven by the products that we had reinvented, we had easily created at least $500 million dollars in new value for our clients in the last few years. Over and over again, we have had clients come to us with decent products that had achieved some measure of success, but that couldn’t break through the clutter in their niche. We worked with them to reimagine their true customers, identify their unmet needs, and design products that looked and felt different than what everyone else was doing. And BAM! Within months, in case after case, the client was either sold for a lot of money or received major capital infusions. So, while our clients don’t necessarily understand the value of our process at first, they certainly value the outcome of that process.

Complexity as the New Norm

Another thing we realized is that, because we’ve made a specialty of solving really tricky design projects, we’ve had many of these clients (in cloud computing, big data analysis, financial data, etc.) virtually to ourselves. We design highly sophisticated B2B Web application interfaces. In today’s complex data-driven business world, projects like this are becoming commonplace for more and more businesses. These are the kinds of projects where you really have to wade into the weeds to understand the end consumer’s needs, obstacles, and how to solve them. What we do, better than anyone else, is cut through that outward complexity to design interfaces that seem simple and intuitive, even when the data and logic behind them are complicated as hell.

We’re Digital Product Design Rockstars

So where, after all this introspection, have we landed? For starters, we now talk about the work we do as digital product design, rather than “web design,” because that’s what it really is. And we’re confidently putting it out there that if you have a complex product that you really want to take to the next level, whether it’s for B2B or consumers, then we are the people who will make that happen for you. We welcome your feedback, your thoughts, and your suggestions on this repositioning, and our new site. And if you haven’t worked with us in a while, give us a call or drop by! We still have the sharpest digital strategists, the best designers, and the best dark chocolate in town!

Kathryn Campbell

Managing Partner, Primitive Spark

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