Third Lake is an investment advisory firm that offers services ranging from designing and planning to Construction Administration and Construction Management Services.
Third Lake has an up-and-running website, and they needed to add a service to their portfolio but didn’t know how to connect the Brand identity with it. They requested a redesign study to align the architectural site with their newly acquired construction model business.
I started by researching the website to understand the current architecture; I walked through the site page by page, pulled out all the content, and defined the information architecture and sitemap. This process allowed me to question the need for specific sections/data on the website. Once I aligned my assumptions, I got with key players from the Company to assess and define them. Thanks to this, I better understood the project’s scope and identified their website focus, workflow, content, and features.
We came up with the vision and linking strategy. Next step: I needed to know from their users
Building user personas provided a deeper insight into what the current website was missing. Identifying and solving pain points elevated the overall user experience and business goals. This analysis helped me to create a strong foundation for my design strategy. Data collected during this phase backed each design decision.
We spoke with different users from various backgrounds. Some of them have had experiences with Architecture projects, while others were more familiar with their Construction side. This helped defined their main audience segments.
I analyzed the four most prominent architecture and construction companies’ websites competitively. As a result, we noticed several commonalities among them and some problems that we wanted to address to differentiate our services from theirs:
I started by drawing rough sketches and keywords on paper. I didn’t dive too deep into digital wireframing until I had everything backed up with User and Company insight. After everything was aligned, I started creating the design. I wired essential pages for the site because that was requested for the project.
We finished the website consultancy successfully after very positive feedback from our users and stakeholders. It captured the quoting capabilities’ business goals while being more user-friendly than our competitors. We achieved our goal to make the process visible and accessible from the beginning of the site experience. I reached a UX goal: Helping Third Lake understand the UX and Design thinking processes and inform design decisions, keeping users as the primary rationale.
Even though Thir Lake wanted to start exploring simple options for their new acquisition of Construction within the Architectural business, they wanted to create a new way to communicate a clean and elevated experience focused on transparency and ease of use for users. The online construction world is rampant with misleading statements, hidden costs, and a lack of information. They wanted to set the Company apart from their competition with more than just the service; they wanted to create a pleasant experience that helped people make informed decisions.
We did three design iterations and tested them with users. As a result, these sessions revealed many things I had overlooked while confirming some of my assumptions. The biggest takeaways we learned from this process are the following:
Users like seeing a way to explore prices easily and upfront, filling out a long form asking tons of questions, and making users create an account to get answers were rejected by most users. We solved that by creating a simple Quoting module that is user-friendly and easy to fill.
These few steps helped as a starting point, allowing the Company to elevate its online presence, but, most importantly, they learned that listening to users should be the primary goal before starting to move pixels.