Now that Web sites are no longer new, this is the era of finding out exactly how useful they can be. Saya’ Productions wants to make the Web as shiny and cool as it can be.
Now that Web sites are no longer new, this is the era of finding out exactly how useful they can be. Dallas-based Saya’ Productions wants to make the Web as shiny and cool as it can be. Founders Alvin Chua and Miguel Hilao chat about lost jobs, new opportunities, and getting on the hot club list.
How did you get the idea to start a company?
We both got laid off after Sept. 11th happened, and we had two options: to accept our situation and blame the economy, or to take it as an opportunity to do something better. Miguel has a background in sound design and Web design was Alvin’s second skill. That’s when we came up with the idea of combining our skills.
We started with a simple design concept of using motion graphics and sound-designed audio for a one-page Web site. Later on, we started adding other design elements into the concept to enhance the user experience by making them entertaining and user-friendly. We wanted to make sites easier to navigate, and have visitors find information easily. Then we added Web solutions as a way to get better usability.
Why do you feel there’s a need for what you provide?
We provide services that help our clients get the most out of their Web sites. Cyberspace is full of online brochures but the Web is way beyond that now. Businesses will need to change the way they present their image with the times. The Web site can be that first impression. We help companies project the image they represent with a custom designed site that can be used as a business tool, informative, up to date and appealing to the senses.
What kind of challenges do you find in doing Web design?
Getting customers to accept change. Actually the Internet is much user friendly now than it ever was; the stigma that you have to have all this computer knowledge to utilize it is not valid anymore. I met some business people who cringe at the sound of offering them a site. That is our biggest challenge.
How should companies be thinking about their sites now?
A lot of businesses still think sites are an expense rather than business tools. They think that as long as they have a site to show, that’s all they need. But now, Web sites are becoming more powerful. More and more people are starting to expect a lot from Web sites. People want to be entertained, to find information easily and be able to do more things than just take what the Web site offers them. They want to be able to interact, be entertained and enjoy the convenience that sites are designed to provide.
There are still companies with sites that were designed years ago that are non-functional, and without usability. They are hesitant to do changes because their sites have always been designed as nothing but “for show” and they never thought about the new capabilities that more powerful sites can do for their business.
What do you like best about what you do?
Designing Web sites does have its little share of fame. At first, most people would react to us like we’re just nothing but Web designers thinking that there’s too many doing that kind of work until they actually see what we do and that’s when they change the way they look at us. We also get to meet a lot of interesting people in different types of businesses. One of our clients launched his Web sites with a party at a hot club here in Dallas and we even got on the V.I.P. list.
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