The design team at Tallwave is constantly plugging away and working to create unique and memorable products for our clients. How do we make sure we’re creating that one-of-a-kind experience for our customers every single time? For starters, we make sure our designers are looped in from the get go. Bringing them into early planning sessions and client meetings helps get the gears turning as they begin sketching and planning to turn their ideas into reality.
Oftentimes, we’ll send our designs to real people for user testing to determine where improvements can be made. Getting feedback ensures that the end result of the project will be exactly what they had envisioned for their brand. Recently, we went through this process with a banking client (coincidentally, we also just won an AMA award for our paid media work with them). Designing a new website is no easy feat, but our team makes it seem effortless.
The Ask: Focus on the Community
Every client we work with is unique. Each has different goals, target audiences, and a specific look and feel that is distinct to their brand. Our design team works to understand each nuance and persona that makes a business who they are.
In the case if our banking client, we had to keep in mind that they had been around for over 150 years and are well-known to the people in their community. Although reputable, they needed a way to increase their visibility in the digital landscape, especially with a new generation of banking customers, business owners, and homebuyers trickling down their pipeline. They wanted to ensure their digital presence accurately reflected and their fierce commitment to the neighborhoods and people they served. To further increase their community commitment, they wanted to expand its products and services beyond personal banking and commercial accounts, as well as forging a renewed focus as a premier, trusted advisor in their area.
How Did We Do It?
In order to identify a client’s wants and needs, our design team typically holds a design studio session with various Tallwave team members and the client. This cross-disciplinary session is used to coordinate goals, as well as generate and refine potential design and user experience solutions. During this process, we are able to identify common themes and pain points each business is facing.
For our banking client, our design team began reorganizing and simplifying the navigational menu structure soon after the design studio session—setting up the site for future growth. The team created over 40 wireframes that outlined and organized the overall structure, element hierarchy, and interaction design. Additionally, our designers included UX enhancements to quickly drive users to the content they’re most interested in.
We Came to Represent
First and foremost, this client asked us to make the website feel as though visitors were walking into one of their branches. While most of our clients ask for personalization, few strive to bring a real-world feel to a digital space. To bring the focus to their personalized service, we showcased some of their real business banking customers on their new website. Our design team was able to highlight their members by expanding their community stories section and showcasing familiar local small business owners. Here, small-business owners shared a few of their success stories in the form of short video testimonials.
To make their website feel familiar to current and new customers, they wanted to represent the neighborhoods they serve. Tallwave reimagined their website with a complete look and feel of these neighborhoods by highlighting imagery and specific city landmarks. To bring them alive on the site, our design team produced a dynamic layout complete with motion and visual transitions, video, and micro-animations. To do this, our design team took custom visuals in the form of a feature video on the homepage. The result was a sleek, visually pleasing, and easy to navigate website.
Emphasized Business and Commercial Product Offerings
Even if your website is awesome and full of cool features, it won’t do its job if you’re not appealing to the target audience and demographic specific to your business. For this project, we discovered that business banking customers made up a large part of their target audience. Our design team wanted to make sure their new website emphasized the bank’s support for business owners. To do this, we included CTA’s throughout their product and service pages. These pages were perfect for CTA’s as they encouraged potential customers to take action and contact their preferred branch.
Planned Ahead for Expansion
When our design team builds out their projects, we don’t just think about the now. We look ahead to their projected business plans for the near future and scale their website accordingly.
For this project, we expanded their website to include new products and services. In order to do this, our design team built a scalable sitemap and information architecture setup to allow for growth of their products and services. Their navigation structure was reorganized to showcase their more robust sections on business, commercial, and personal banking sections, including detailed product and service pages for each. The resources section of their website was optimized to make it more useful for their users. Within this, we included a recommendation assistant, calculators, and a brand new blog. Planning for that expansion, we made sure the site was built using components that are easily transferable, giving their website administrators the ability to create new content quickly and efficiently.
Improved the User Experience
The end goal for our designers is always to make the user experience as seamless as possible. To optimize the bank’s website for users, we recommended implementation of a few new touchpoints. First up, a recommendation assistant was added to the homepage to help customers quickly navigate to the information they need. To mimic the feeling of being helped by someone at a physical location, we also recommended adding a live chat feature to help customers answer any questions they may have for their banking needs. Adding appointment booking directly to their website also allowed for a quick and easy way to schedule an appointment without the customer having to leave their home.
The creativity and innovation our design team brings to every project never ceases to amaze us. If you’re pondering how to rethink your customer experience, we’d love to help. Drop us a line.
Written by Alejandra Guillen—Content Creator