Published: March 28 2012, by John
I wanted to share a bit about the process of re-designing the new Mekonta website.
This is the 5th incarnation of mekonta.co.uk (I really wish I'd kept screenshots of the earlier versions). The previous version had been live for about two years, with a lot of changes having been made over the last twelve months.
The site as it was needed several updates to reflect changes in the business, but it was very much a last minute decision to redesign and re-brand so completely.
The old design had got some great attention, positive feedback and been with the business through a lot of growth. So I did have an 'if it 'ain't broke, don't fix it' mindset. But ultimately, we made the decision that it didn't represent Mekonta successfully anymore.
Whilst I liked the black theme - it wasn't always the best template to support screenshots of our client work. I wanted a quieter, lighter, background to ensure our client work - which we're hugely proud of - could be allowed to really shine.
Also, when I launched the previous site design, I was working as a freelance web designer. The quirky, individual, nature of the site was appropriate. Since then though, Mekonta has grown into a proper web design agency. This doesn't mean we suddenly have to kill off all personality or sense of fun in the site - but as we work with bigger clients and more established businesses, I felt it appropriate to re-align and strike a balance between fun & quirky and professional.
This wasn't about trying to look more corporate. We still want clients to be able to see our personality in the website, but we also want to show that we know how to act in corporate environments. Esentially, we wanted a website that you wouldn't worry about showing to the MD in case he didn't get it.
Our Hard Working Web Design branding has been working really well for us and I wanted to make more of it on the website. And much as I like the Mekonta logo and the green that we've used right from the start of the business - I ultimately decided to put much less focus on this across the site in favour of the 'HWWD' branding.
As the design developed, it really began to hang very centrally off the 'HWWD' branding. Both the use of four circles and the colouring used in all the custom illustrations. It works to give the site a great sense of cohesion and reinforce, even subliminally, our focus on Hard Working Web Design.
Most telling as to the success of the new website design, is the reduction in bounce rates to the site. Previously bounce rates had hovered around 45%, since the relaunch they have dropped to under 30%.
It's always something of a risk doing any serious rebranding. But what has made our so successful is that as the business has developed over the past 12 months - we were able to approach the project with a very clear idea of what we wanted to achieve with the site, who our audience are and who we aspire for them to be. Although we now have more to say on the site about what we do and our work process - the focus of these messages is much more refined and ultimately users are given a more concise and focused journey through the site.