Kaleidico Names Most Innovative Michigan Websites

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Digitizing the Rust Belt: Top 16 Michigan Company Web Designs

What’s the most innovative web design currently on display in Michigan? That’s the question writers at the Kaleidico blog sought to answer--and the results are in. http://kaleidico.com/web-design/the-state-of-web-design-in-michigan-16-of-the-most-innovative-websites-40542

As The Great Lakes State transitions from its role as the unofficial capital of America’s manufacturing Rust Belt into a decidedly more streamlined, tech-friendly, and diversified economy, the blog decided it was time to examine the early returns of this massive transformation in one of its most visible forms: web design.

After a considered search, 16 Michigan-based companies’ websites made the final cut, each being judged on a deceptively simple criterion: how is their web design innovative? Pretty pictures alone wouldn’t do it, said blog editor David Quilty.

“We were looking for web design that went beyond the aesthetics”, Quilty said, adding, “that’s a part of it, sure, but we wanted to showcase sites that did something new in terms of their functionality, user experience, and which delivered that innovation harmoniously within the larger context of their brand image.”

So, who made the cut? Some Michigan companies on the list are already long-established household names--Kellogg’s, Ziebart, and Faygo, to name just a few--but a number of relative newcomers proved they can punch above their weight-class in the digital space, too. Among these fresh faces, New Holland Brewing, a microbrewery on the west side of the mitten, Velocity Cow, a Detroit-based production company, and fine dining restaurant Torino all demonstrated their web design prowess.

A company’s size isn’t everything, reminds Quilty. “You don’t have to be a huge multinational corporation to build a smart, attractive, and intuitive website. At the end of the day, web design is about understanding your brand, your audience and serving the needs of both effectively.”

While Michigan continues to reinvent itself as a tech sector hub, complete with the electricity and excitement that comes with an increasingly startup-based culture, Quilty cautions companies not to rest on their laurels. “The digital space changes rapidly, and what was innovative today isn’t necessarily innovative tomorrow, so it’s always a process.” He adds that brands would be well-served to listen to a common adage around the Kaleidico offices, “it’s not beautiful unless it works beautifully.”

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Bill Rice
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David Quilty
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since: 06/2009
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