The founder of the award-winning London web design company talks about the future of web design in a post pandemic world.

We catch up with Chris Baker who has been running the top-tier London web design company, Creative Brand Design, for a decade now. As the MD and founder, Chris has been at the forefront of a lot of changes in the industry. And it’s that movement that keeps him excited about design to this day. Chris says, 'I started getting into web design when I was at uni studying business management and it hooked me. I went on to IT management following that and launched CB Design first as a consulting operation and then scaled it up to the full-suite web design studio that it is today.'



What's your mission?



My goal is simple. I want to help our private-sector and public-sector clients to harness the modern web to meet their needs. We might do this through digital marketing, sustainable coding, website design and development, SEO or crafting enriching digital experiences. And, as a team, we’re here to guide them through the optimisations they need to compete at the top of their field. I think part of that is always keeping current with what's on the cutting edge of tech and online - especially in the post-pandemic landscape.

What key accomplishments are you most proud of?



We’ve been established in the web design and digital marketing sector for over a decade. Over that time we have worked on a range of digital marketing campaigns which have subsequentlly earned us Google Partner status. Not only does that allow us to work more closely with Google themselves, but it has really helped our clients understand the value of our experience and knowledge. And we’ve had the pleasure of working with numerous clients. One I was delighted to support was the Department of International Trade. We helped them on the Great for Collaboration campaign which was international campaign that required a large number of geo-specific web innovations. And lastly, we’re delighted to be going global as a brand. Since the pandemic, we’ve partnered with clients internationally creating interactive web experiences in multiple countries, including in the US, Hong Kong and Europe.



Who are your favourite three clients and why?



Department of International Trade

As one of our early key accomplishments, it makes sense that the DIT is one of my favourite clients. Working on such an important internationaly campaign for the UK governernment was an amazing thing to be part of.

Genvid

Genvid is a brand and organisation we find aspirational ourselves. We helped them with a clean, responsive UX that speaks to their innovative soul as a gaming platform provider. We helped their website align with their values and non-traditional spirit and since then, more and more developers are discovering their SDK.

Street Greek

Funky, cool, progressive. Perhaps I have a soft spot for Street Greek from their cool branding alone. I was delighted to help them develop a playful and bespoke web experience for their customers. Built with SEO in mind, we still let their branding sing with custom animations of Zeus in pants, flying pigs and more.



Have you won any awards?



The team and I have won many awards from AWWWARDS, Clutch, CSSWinner and CSSDesignAwards. Some of these include Best Mobile Site Design, Best UI, Best UX and Innovation.

What’s your favourite website?



Of the ones we’ve done? I think Genvid is my top, top favourite. But generally, on the web, I’m obsessed with Pablo the Flamingo. It’s silly.

And your favourite app?



Before I uninstalled it? TikTok. You can waste hours on that app! The other apps I use are largely functional, so nothing you’d write home about… news apps, crypto, that sort of thing.

Who is your internet hero?



One of my first-year professors is probably my internet hero. He coded in his free time and got me hooked on tech. He taught me to code, design and all. If anything, he got me started on this whole journey.

What’s your favourite tech gadget?



The GameBoy. I collect Nintendo Games and have a shockingly large collection of kit. And I even keep some of it in the office. Plus, I build my own crypto mining rigs which I’m quite proud of.



What’s the thing you love most about post-pandemic web design?



We’re not limited by location anymore. The pool of talent is now worldwide and clients are more comfortable with the idea of remote teams than in the past. I’m loving the new clients we’re meeting and the work we’re winning from all over the world. That's because there is more demand for things online generally. Companies that were largely bricks and mortar now need to compete digitally. And that’s making post-pandemic web design more competitive than ever. I love that challenge.



What do you like least about it?



All this remote work is a double-edged sword, I think. I do miss the team. I don’t get to see them face to face like I used to, and that’s not as fun. But we’re doing great work for clients and operating at a higher level than before and so I think that trade-off is worth it.

What’s some SaaS your clients can't live without?



The majority of our work is on a WordPress platform. Our favourite plugins for this include:-

Yoast SEO - for setting up and managing on-page SEO
WordPress - we think it’s the best platform to build on
W3 Total Cache - to make the site faster
Wordfence - to secure and harden websites
Cookiebot - to ensure cookie compliance

Where is the future of web design going?



Interactivity, animation and bespoke personalisation. Websites that are flat and static and don’t move are fading away. Clients don’t want websites that look like a wiki. That immersive interactivity is what they need to engage their customers. And this trend is going to continue. The world is taking to the Metaverse, and this remote working is our future. The next ten to twenty years is going to escalate in terms of website capability. When I started coding sites, they were largely glorified tables. And now we’re rendering complex animations in real-time.

How can we lead the trend?



We can make interactivity more accessible for the mainstream without the need for six-figure development budgets. There are great brands out there that need to be showcased in this way but it’s not achievable right now.

What’s one company you think has it right?



It’s a cliche because it’s right. Amazon has changed the world. Through AWS, online shopping, home assistants and smart homes; they’re leading the web revolution.

Any dream future projects?



I want more gaming brands to come to us. They often want fun, interactive elements like the concept we're creating for a gaming-inspired self-defence brand here.



It’s websites and brands like these that really don’t even feel like work. I love having carte-blanche to be creative.

February 2022
In partnership with Creative Brand Design

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