The client felt that their current site, that had originally been set up in a bit of a hurry by one of the business owners, hadn’t kept up with the growth of the business and didn’t reflect the level of service or expertise they now offer.
They wanted a responsive website built with modern best practices that used what was already there as a starting point but going back to the drawing board on a lot of things and coming up with a new strategy to push things forward.
The primary goal of the project site was to attract new clients, both B2C and B2B. To do that the site would need to retain a corporate and professional feel yet be welcoming to customers that may be intimidated by the world of finance.
The first step to this website overhaul project was to gain greater insight into the current site to learn all about it, figure out what it does well, and which areas need improving. I was given administrative access to the site, Google Analytics and to the Google Search Console so I could investigate further.
Research & Content
Immediately after logging into the website admin, I could see there were a large number of pages that had perfectly good content but hadn’t been utilised in the front end. There were duplicate pages containing duplicate content and very little structure to the way it was organised; this would need sorting out for sure.
The research phase continued with familiarising myself with the existing brand guidelines that had been put in place; however, in this case there was no specific brand guidelines to adhere to, only the logo and the brand colours, I was given creative license to fulfil the brief as I see fit.
I also looked at competitors in this sector to gain a better understanding of some of the typical features users would come to expect from a site like this. This helped to
Requirements & Sketches
I summarized all the notes from the meeting I had with the client and the competitor research into a requirements and goals checklist to aid and assist me through the rest of the project. These lists help to make sure nothing gets forgotten and to keep me on track.
I like to start the design process with paper and pencil to allow myself to not be constrained by any tools and to let my creativity to not be hindered.
Design & Development
Once the sketches were complete and satisfied everything from the requirements and goals checklists, the design process could truly begin, and I feel is the most exciting and collaborative stages of the project.
Once the first round of concept designs were completed they were presented to the client for them to provide feedback. After making those final tweaks and re-presenting to the client, the client was very happy with the results, and the development stage could begin.
This is where everything starts to come to real and tangible, buttons can be clicked, and pages interacted with. The client was given access to an online preview containing the latest work on a nightly basis, so they could see exactly where the site was up to and to provide any feedback they saw fit.