Why Information Architecture and Design Both Matter
If you don’t have a website that draws attention and takes site visitors through an easy journey to a call of action, you’re making a grave error. In effect, it’s like giving someone a jigsaw puzzle. You’re asking the visitor to assemble the pieces so they can get the big picture (which they won’t do).
A website should be your business’ first digital impression with clients. It should effectively communicate who you are, and entice clients into wanting to get to know your brand better. And in order for a website to do that well, two fundamental concepts must be in place: a solid information architecture and great design.
While design is a more widely known term that refers to a website’s font, color, layout, and other visual components, information architecture is often misunderstood or overlooked. The information architecture of a website is a phrase web designers use to represent how the website should be organized and why. Websites that prevail from an architectural standpoint are developed with careful consideration of the arrangement of the content, the needs of the business, and the potential ease and fulfillment of the user’s experience in mind. Now the websites that thrive as an overall success of course have great web design as well.
But what exactly happens when a business has a website, but doesn’t have a strong information architecture and lacks cohesive and streamlined design?
Brillio is a global leader in transforming companies in the current digital space via tech applications and human solutions. Through particular propriety tools and frameworks, and the use of UX design, digital applications, big data analytics, cloud services, and more, Brillio promises to “rapidly develop and deploy disruptive digital solutions.” Even though all this sounds fascinating, the executives at Brillio noticed that users weren’t able to fully grasp the entire scope of the company’s services with their former website.
Enters Model B
Model B was hired to give the previously existing Brillio website a complete renovation. It was our job to develop a website that made sense from both a user and company perspective, but also was visually appealing to distinguish the company from its competitors. For us to prove successful with the job at hand, we conducted a series of interviews/meetings with Brillio executives to understand their vision for what their website should do. Furthermore, we analyzed the site’s then-current structure and the available site and behavioral analytics to guide us in developing a plan.
There were three main issues we found with the former Brillio website. First, there was too much content. When users visit a website, they don’t want to be bogged down by huge amounts of text. The point of users visiting a website is to quickly find the answers to their questions. If combing through a website becomes too time-consuming, users will stray to competitors.
Secondly, the information architecture of the previous site wasn’t developed with users in mind. Users weren’t necessarily directed through the site in the most efficient of ways. However, this was in part due to the amount of Brillio web content.
Lastly, despite the fact the previous website had certain eye-catching elements, there lacked a sense of design cohesion from a branding perspective. There wasn’t a consistent theme when it came to colors, fonts, and layout. That kind of disjointed branding, unfortunately, was something that occasionally proved to be too distracting for potential clients.
In order to tackle the overload of text and in effect the less than optimal information architecture, we decided to streamline the content by changing the way we displayed the work Brillio did. Essentially, we opted to showcase more of Brillio’s impressive capabilities through case studies. Working in tandem with the company, we developed case studies highlighting some of their most innovative work with some of their most well-known clients. On the former website, their work with clients was not in one place, wasn’t grouped in a user-friendly manner, and didn’t adequately show all that Brillio is capable of.
In the midst of organizing the case studies, our team opted to centralize the location of the case studies, and assign a color scheme for the background of each case study page to reflect a particular Brillio service or solution. Additionally, we helped to develop a “case study template” for the company so it ensures that future case studies are always cohesive and consistent with Brillio branding.
Speaking of branding, we worked with the Brillio team in getting back to their core branding guidelines. Brillio had a comprehensive set of brand guidelines that the company had strayed from. We made it our mission to make sure that they got back on track from a branding perspective by eliminating off-brand colors, fonts, and layouts that took away from the essence of Brillio messaging.
And to captivate their audiences, we made their new website look beautiful. The use of space, case-study specific colors, and a return to simplicity increased their user engagement nearly 10x.
Following the completion of the initial work we were contracted by Brillio to do, we were later hired by the company executives to maintain and continuously refine their newly revamped website. For starters, we continued testing their site to make it more appealing to not just clients, but also to future employees. We expanded the careers section, and subsequently created advertising to drive engagement to the page.
In addition, we created an “Alliance Partner” section of the website that basically acted as a microsite within the Brillio platform. This section was designed in a style similar to the case studies, and highlights the successes of current partners of Brillio, while attracting new partners.
Once the Brillio team felt they were prepared to oversee the day-to-day functions of the company website, we turned over the reins to them. Per our culture at Model B, we always build websites that are easily editable, completely customizable, and can be maintained by our clients following a little guidance and training from us.
If you recognize the importance of a website that has a sound information architecture and sleek and consistent design, be sure to contact Model B. We’re always ready to build great things, and we’d love to work with you.