That’s a rather special brief for us and one we received when we started working with Seer Green on the redesign of their website. The team at Seer Green trusted us to take this brief and produce something that didn’t go too far, as we were dealing with financial services, but helped them stand out from a sea of blue and jargon. They also trusted us to create a site that was unique to them. One that they could use as a foundation to build their brand on. We think we managed to strike the right balance and here’s the story of how we did it.
The homepage was always going to be the real challenge. The first couple of concepts we developed were a big step forward, focusing on content and aiming to give users access to many of the top level pages. Through the conversations we had with the Seer Green team it became clear that these didn't go far enough and were not a big enough jump from the competition. In fact, the conversation ended with "Let's be more ballsy, let's just say what we do".
This thinking really helped create the focus for the site, which would eventually contain a large amount of content—no stock imagery, not too many options, but a refined, simple and well considered information architecture and design style.
Keen to stay far away from the typical stock imagery that you find on sites in this sector we opted for a simple icon set to add personality to the site. These feature on the homepage and the services page. When it came to colour we took the orange brand colour to the max, helping to create impact, and to lose the 'corporate' feel. We complimented this with a blue to help highlight links.
We were able to have all of the content first because it had recently been rewritten and compliance approved. This allowed us to design around the content, ensuring that it was the central focus. To add some visual texture to the site and enhance the simple design of the home page, we created subtle animations and interactions. The animation of the text, logo and navigation help to focus the eye on the positioning statement:
We also added a subtle interaction to the background when a user moves their mouse around to help add a feeling of depth.
It's great to work with clients who listen to our advice. It's even better working with clients who care enough to push and challenge us as a team. Here's what Siobhan Mail, Director said about the project...
"Working with Toward was hugely energising—they were extremely flexible and accommodating. The design team led from the front and guided us creatively, and their work has helped us critically review our overall visual branding, which will benefit all our future communications activity. Thanks guys, we look forward to working with you on future developments!"
For this project, our brief was to help Seer Green stand out from the crowd. Hopefully we've managed that! Take a look at the site at seer-green.com and feel free to let us know what you think on twitter.