Build on the “long slog” of designing your own website

Does redesigning your website have to be a nightmare? We asked Build’s Michael Place about the highs and lows of self-set design projects, as the studio launches its sixth website in 17 years

Designing your own website is the ultimate branding challenge. This is a designer’s calling card – the first thing many clients see, and a major factor in their decision to make contact. So the process behind it is, understandably, fraught.

While client projects are bound by timescales, milestones and ultimate goals, it’s the freedom of own website projects that makes them such a challenge. With no definite framework in place, and paid work vying for attention, designers can obsess over minor details of their portfolio for months without reaching a decision. Meanwhile, the comings and goings of digital trends mean that existing sites can quickly become tired.

“Ask any designer and they’ll say the same thing – it’s a nightmare,” says Build founder Michael Place, who’s overseen several incarnations of the studio’s website over the years. Having just finished Build’s latest digital overhaul, Place is intimately acquainted with the angst that accompanies this kind of work.