What are your typical pain points with design work?
For Kelly Knobeck, Director of Consumer Products at Nexgel, a background in sales and marketing in other companies had given her experience with sourcing design work. She almost always found that good quality design was expensive, while the process of getting the work done was often inefficient. Sometimes it involved chasing freelancers or having to repeat herself and her priorities for each new project.
When Kelly came onboard at Nexgel, a predecessor had already discovered Designed.co and set up the working relationship. Kelly found a design experience completely different to what she had worked with before. We spoke with her about what that has been like and the impact on Nexgel:
Nexgel has been around for more than 20 years in the contract manufacturing space. They make hydrogel roll stock, which goes through an electron beam accelerator and comes out as a gel sheet. Those sheets can be cut into different shapes and used for all sorts of applications.
Prior to Kelly’s arrival at Nexgel, the company worked strictly in the medical field, with their patches used as a trans-dermal delivery system within clinical settings. For example, a patch could be used to deliver medicine through the skin. Since her arrival, Nexgel has expanded into the consumer products space, which includes anything from beauty patches, to fever reducers for children, to mosquito patches, to burns patches targeted at chefs.
Nexgel sells their direct-to consumer patches on Amazon, which covers many broad subgroups of target markets. On the contract manufacturing side, they partner with large companies such as Medtronics. Those large partners use the roll stock for medical applications at their own discretion.
One big shift that is happening at Nexgel is that they’re in the process of becoming publicly traded. This means that they often have the need to put out public communications on company news.
Why does design matter?
“Design is pivotal to our success in everything that we do,” Kelly says. With such a broad scope for their hydrogel patches, design is needed across a range of mediums. Designed.co has worked with Nexgel on website pages, flyers, technical data sheets, product labels, product packaging and branding. “We work with Designed.co on anything in the creative realm,” says Kelly.
One of the big goals that Nexgel’s design work must achieve is communicating quickly and efficiently what they do. “It’s often difficult for people to understand what hydrogel is unless they actually see it,” Kelly says. In a world where brands need to grab consumer attention quickly, communicating what it is, what it does and who it is for is a job that needs some creative design work to come into play.
Additionally, design is about presenting the right brand image and story. A brand like Nexgel which is entrusted with being in direct contact with human skin, including in medical settings, must have a trustworthy image. One thing that had to be updated to improve brand image was their website, which was very basic previously. A web design refresh by Designed.co is helping Nexgel to tell their story and engage with customers.
Design work before Designed.co
As mentioned above, Kelly’s predecessor at Nexgel discovered Designed.co. So when she arrived, the relationship was already in place. For her, it was completely different to previous experiences of getting design work done.
“They are wonderfully transparent,” she says. “Their customer service goes above and beyond anything I’ve ever worked with in the design space. I don’t need to track down freelancers or feel like I’m pestering anyone for information. Every interaction is positive and focused.”
Kelly enjoys working with the smaller team at Designed.co as it makes it easier to build the relationship and for design projects to be completed efficiently. “I come to them with a project and they know where my mind is at already. I don’t have to explain myself and my vision again every time,” she says.
“Critiques on edits are efficiently responded to with a quick turnaround,” Kelly says. “Their approachability makes them different to anything else I’ve seen in the design space.”
“Designed.co checks all the boxes for efficient, cost-effective and quality,” Kelly says.
A cost-effective design solution was a huge drive for Nexgel to work with Designed.co, but not at the cost of design quality. They’ve found the quality of the design work to be excellent and that Designed.co could deliver on all of their expectations.
One thing that makes Designed.co different is the design hub – the interface between client and designers where they communicate. Kelly finds it an easy solution for sharing the inspiration behind her ideas and communicating with Designed.co. “They always come back with suggestions that elevate our products,” she says. “When we design a product, they do a great job based on our brief. They look at the target market and interpret it well within their design work.”
Kelly recommends Designed.co to businesses of all types that need design work done. “This company is wonderful to work with, they truly care about their work – you can feel the passion – and their product is great,” she says.
It’s not just the level of skill and design experience – one of the things that makes a working relationship with Designed.co so successful is the communication system. Clients can easily make requests, ask questions, or pass on information knowing that it will be seen and responded to promptly. This symbiotic process delivers the quality results businesses need.
Ready to see how to put Designed.co to work for you? Schedule a demo here today.