My three followers will have noticed changes on this website. Quite a lot of them happened under the hood. Most noticeably, it’s a lot faster, thanks to a new host and some code optimization. In addition I changed the fonts, the colors, made everything cleaner, removed clutter and focussed on what I found important. But the most prominent visible change is likely the homepage.
What is in my DNA is that I like for things to make sense.
After all that’s why I work in this industry and why I try to improve people’s lives with the products I’m working on. My own website shouldn’t make an exception. It should be a pleasure to use, but most of it all, it should make sense.
In 2002, I was still working in advertising, but I had been a cofounder of a small Web company called Cell (later Cel4). I remember sitting in a client meeting, staring at slide number 213 of an endless Powerpoint presentation created by the agency I worked for. They had serious problems making things short. I looked at the faces of the client. And one thought hit me: this experience could be a lot better. The client would love it. They client would buy our services, because they loved it. Everything my agency had put into this 250 pages slide deck was wrong. It was based on the perception that information, the content alone, would sell the product.
It didn’t sell anything.
Content is king, no doubt about it. Get your content right first. And presentation is more than a necessary vessel: the way you show things does indeed have a great influence on how your content is perceived.
But what is most important of it all, above everything is: does it make sense?
You need to convey a thought, an idea, and if it’s not obvious, it needs to be transmitted subconsciously. In any case, it needs to make sense to the audience. Or in other words: they need to understand what you mean to say.
A Zen Like Center
It was at this endless client meeting when I came up with the idea of Core. Everything has a core, I thought. Everything is simple at its core. The universe. Newborn babies. Everything can get complicated, but it all starts very simple, with a core element.
That idea evolved over the next couple of years. I started a business for consulting named Core and made the core concept, the core message, the core idea the center of all my work. Unsurprisingly, even back in 2002, the domain for core.com was taken. So I settled with one of the suggestions on the registrar website, corebasis.com.
A lot has changed since then. In 2003 to 2005 I went to visit California, flying back and forth every couple of months. I began working for various start-ups in 2005. In 2007 I started talking to Namics, and was hired in 2008. At the end of 2009 I was working for TBWA, again an advertising network. And beginning with summer 2010, I began working as an independent consultant again. I worked for clients like Durst Phototechnik and Guave Studios. I created Steps and started River, with our current project Cate.
But I didn’t pick up Core where I left it in 2005. I thought I needed something new, but I also needed to be pragmatic. So I simply went with my name for my business. And that went quite well for some time. There was only one issue. People didn’t really understand what I do.
That is what I am going to solve now. With everything I do, my focus returns to the core of what makes sense for people, also called the user experience.
After almost two years running my business directly under my name, Henning von Vogelsang, I have literally found back to my core. I will run my consulting as Core UX, which comes with a new domain as well, http://core-ux.com.
You see the big, red sun with UX at the core on my homepage? It makes sense, doesn’t it.