Front Five wanted to modernise their digital presence within the construction industry - with their
last website being built over 10 years ago, a refresh was long overdue.
David, the Managing Director, wanted a website to be able to demonstrate their work to clients, in a well formatted and professional manner - essentially a 'digital business card'. Their history was impressive, and they needed a platform to showcase the 50+ projects they had previously completed across a range of settings. However, this wasn't just about looking back - it also needed to communicate to potential customers what future projects they look to take on and what ethos they represent, in a clean and clear manner.
To stand out from competitors with a modern, clean & user friendly experience and become a market leader with the website as a spearhead.
As with every project, the underlying principle is to 'make it better'. This meant looking at the
existing offering, as well as a view outside of the company and at the industry as a whole. Doing so was
a process of continual reflection and evaluation - "How does this look?", "Why was this successful?",
"What could we do differently here"? After in-depth competitor analysis, it was felt that the industry
had fallen behind in terms of web presence somewhat. While their websites were serving a purpose, they
did not truly speak to the customer. I saw an opportunity to do something differently, to inspire
customers by presenting a company that was proud of their work and stood out amongst the crowd.
The previous website was built over 10 years ago and had clearly been made to a very low budget. While cost-effectiveness is very important, in this case it had not meant value for money - the website had been constructed using Wordpress, and was full of plugins that plagued its' speed to no end.
Clearly, a lot needed to change. The focus was to establish a professional and modern image for the company. With no brand guidelines in place, the new website was essentially going to become the new brand for the business. This required close collaboration with the client to ensure a consistent message, as well as the ability for me to "think on my feet" as to how best to achieve such a goal. With so much potential scope, I knew it was important to present a variety of options to allow Front Five to discover what aligned as closely as possible with their brand, and to carve out their own identity in the online space. With all that in mind, I got to work and produced 3 designs based on the brief for the home page and we went from there!
Of course, all the pages required careful consideration of design, but the projects page required different level of detail, and to follow a format in keeping with the guidelines set-up in the earlier stages of the process. I decided on the Occam's Razor approach - that the simplest solution is often the best (one of my golden rules and fundamentals of my design work), especially when it comes to User Experience. Therefore, I developed a clean and efficient means of grouping the projects, allowing the user to find the relevant type and therefore to direct their own experience.
Unique page designs
(+) Working Hours
Smiles all around
Working on this project quickly became one of the highlights of my design career so far. Sometimes
projects can be governed by tight deadlines, and a rigid approach with little room for exploration.
This can mean that designers aren't given much room to breathe and to do what we do best. In contrast,
I had free reign of this project, meaning both creative freedom as well as ultimate accountability.
This allowed me to develop and explore several design themes with the team, and to try new development
techniques that had not been possible in previous projects. The end result? A website that exceeded
the client's expectations, and a great piece of work I am happy to add into my portfolio.
The freedom associated with this project was a new way of working resulted in learnings for me - there are still expectations to manage, and an ongoing dialog is needed to make sure the cogs are still turning. Therefore, I ensured frequent, open communication with the client at all stages of the project, and an ongoing demonstration of my focus on the effectiveness and efficiency of my work.