Realtime Website Building: Like Nothing You’ve Ever Experienced
Except maybe a Jazz Trio.
Go ahead. Search “realtime website building”. You’ll find nothing like what I’m describing.
We had a saying that nobody does anything truly original — somebody’s doing it somewhere, you just don’t know about it. But when Google doesn’t know about it, I have to wonder.
The easiest way to describe this is that it’s like the cooking show Cutthroat Kitchen, where Chefs compete against each other in having to create something great in a condensed amount of time.
Realtime website building is more about the Chefs than the cutlery.
When you search Google for “realtime website building” you’ll find a combination of realtime applications — apps that provide realtime information on a webpage like a stock ticker. Or you’ll find website building tools — i.e. build your website in minutes with this amazing platform.
This is nothing like either of those.
Our realtime website building approach is three creatives — a writer, photographer and a designer walking into an organization in the morning, recording an audio interview, shooting photography and video, building a website or landing page, then an email campaign and walking out of that organization with a microsite or landing page by lunchtime.
The Tea Tree is a local Tea Shop where we beta tested our concept. We walked in, wired the owner and then ourselves with recording devices, interviewed her as she toured the facility, Andrew the photographer shooting as we went.
Then we sat down and built her website while she watched — Andrew continued shooting portraits of her and then some short videos. Richard, the writer began writing headlines and copy into a Google doc as I, the designer began adding the content to a Squarespace site we created on the spot.
When the short videos where uploaded to Youtube, we incorporated those into the site as looping video banners.
I intermixed Andrew’s photography with Richard’s wonderful headlines and snippets of copy, designed in calls-to-action at the right places and showed the owner how I was doing this so she could continue modifying her site once we left.
We created a Dropbox repository of all the photography shot and along with Richard’s Google doc of writing, gave her a content base for future blog posts and continual audience outreach.
The analogy we had was like a jazz trio. We were all playing our instruments and everything was feeding into each other.
Building a website, in-the-moment, with a team of other creatives — adjusting what we were doing based off of each each other and the client was the most powerful experience I’ve had in my 22 years of building websites. It was exactly like Richard said — we were a band creating beautiful music together.
The Birth of Realtime Website Building
I’d only experienced something like this once and that was a completely unplanned shadow of a photographer shooting for a website we were building for a Chicago arts high school.
I’d met up with him the morning he was there to shoot the staff portraits. I’d come to explain how his photos would be dropped into the site we’d been building the past month and he asked if I wanted to hang around while he shot.
After shooting a couple of uncomfortable teachers, I asked if he wanted to test dropping the images into the site. I had my laptop and said we could easily drop some pics into the Squarespace site that was platforming the new build.
We sat down together in a small office, he passing optimized images to me and he immediately began to see how to change his shooting for better presentation within the website. I duplicated the sample page, changing slightly for each staff member and then took the laptop to each, showing them how great they were looking, assuaging the fears we all have in getting our picture taken.
That was the moment I discovered real-time website building.
Who does this work for?
Maybe it’s easier to start with who it doesn’t work for.
- Organizations without some type of visual component to shoot are not ideal for this type of process.
- Organizations who don’t know what they’re after are better off with a process that produces their brand over many iterations rather than this more immediate and visceral process of capturing it.
- Organizations looking for a very specific website design might be pleasantly surprised with the mirror of themselves this process yields but may also struggle with the “design-less” process this employs.
This is a content first approach, with design augmentations used to enhance and focus on key messaging but not something that will “look” like a desired website they admire and want to mimic.
Landing Pages and Micro-sites
That being said, this is perfect for an organization looking to experiment with something completely new and exploratory in mounting a campaign of narrow and specific focus.
This is especially suited to owners, salespersons or engineers who are especially passionate and experienced at their craft with great stories to tell.
The conversation, or audio interview is the center of this process, driving the entire structure of the build as the foundation to which everything saddles in as the ultimate driver for engaging and prompting your visitors for action.
The Cost is perhaps the best part.
More than anything, digital is about hours. Consider the meetings, wire-frames, revisions, waiting for answers on both sides and any hourly rate runs into money.
Think of all the ways you can save money through traditional digital communications. Now consider bringing all the creative muscle together with you and your team, directly into your organization at the same time and I think you can see how this is a different type of cost savings on both sides of the equation.
What you should do.
Visit HypersiteWebsite.com and watch the 5 minute video along with all the specs on how our real-time website building process works.
If you’re interested in trying a Hypersite, get in contact with us.
If you’re an agency who’d like to partner with us using your own creatives and our design expertise in this process — let’s definitely talk.
This is such a radically new concept, we need help evolving and growing this approach and I guarantee it will be quite unlike anything you’ve done in digital.