An exciting time at Mad Town Designs as we launch our new website! I thought I would take this opportunity to show some of the thoughts behind the new design and the layout itself. The key here was to simplify the entire navigational experience and make it even easier to get the information our audience is looking for. While a lot of this applies to our own site this can also help you when you start to looking at designing a website for your organization.
The design is a complete overhaul of the previous website. The current design accompanies our clear and specific strategy perfectly. I will get more into the strategy below, and for now provide before and after pictures of the design to let you compare.
The Home Page
The biggest change you will notice on the sidebar was the removal of the videos. We did this for several reasons: First and foremost we wanted to decrease loading time on the website. Visitors with slower internet connections could spend several seconds just waiting for the video to load, and because we tried to make the video the main part of the site valuable time was wasted loading. So what we decided to do is replace the video with a slider showing off some great website projects. This simplifies the home page while also showing users some inspirational outcomes.
Our goal on the home page was to simplify the entire experience and that also included content. We reduced the amount of content on the home and took and made it focus on the story that is Mad Town Designs. Our old content was to promotional and not enough substance. We removed numerous get in touch and read more buttons which allows for easier navigational goals for the user.
For the most part the footer stayed the same but we did remove the contact us form built. The reason we did this is because we want to lead visitors down the path to conversion because honestly our services are not for everyone and our goal is not to attract everyone. By allowing users to get to know Mad Town and what it is like to work with us they can decide if there is a good fit between our organizations.
We have designed several new websites for ourselves as time has passed always looking at ways to constantly refine and improve the navigation. Our main navigational goals have now gone from ten items down to five. While this strategy might not be well for everyone it fulfills a few key purposes. First it makes it as easy as possible to reach the content you need without overwhelming the visitor with useless options.
We also cut down on secondary navigational goals. We completely redid our services page and cut out a lot of the services we have offered. The reason we did this is it didn’t really help increase our expertise and our goal of being specialists. It was what most amateur design firms do. They cast a wide net offering trying to catch any potential client so they can sell them. Because we are a design firm that does not sell, we want to focus on our expertise and only be hired for those reasons. This allows us to bring our best work. So now when you go to our services page it shows our core offerings with no other buttons to other pages. Removing the buttons reduces the amount of pages a visitor needs to go through. When you land at our home page it is quite clear what our main offering is so no reason to go more in depth and trying to wow visitors with a bunch of information that doesn’t really help them.
This was the bread and butter, we actually spent more time on the content strategy than any other element of the website. I spent numerous hours and days working on our content strategy and consistently doing it right. A lot of people fear doing a good content strategy because they worry that they might make there website seen human, and because they are scared to show who they really are having a consistent strategy. Like it or not the content on our website says a lot about our company and brand, and also shows what type of person you are. Never be afraid about who you are when you talk on your site. It shows personality, and while you might offend someone you are inspiring others to do business with you.
Calls to Action
We have multiple calls to action built across the website, and because of the changes we have made at Mad Town Designs it is no longer about getting as many contacts as possible. Our goal is to determine a fit between a potential clients needs and our expertise suitable to take a next step nothing more.
Our new website to me so far is amazing. We have seen time spent increase on the website even though we have removed a lot of pages, and conversions are up.