If there’s one universal truth of doing business in 2018, it’s that you need a good website. It’s a reflection of your business, and in today’s online world, it’s often your first impression on potential customers. That’s why it’s important that your website evolves with your business – and why we recently underwent a design overhaul of our ours. Fresh from this website revamp and armed with new insights and learnings, we thought we would share with you our experience in case it helps you with your next website design project – an inevitability most of us face in some capacity in our businesses.
A Little Bit of Background
We first opened our doors in 2012 with a very simple website and a single location on offer. The site served its purpose at the time and helped us fill our first location with happy members.
As our business grew and evolved, we knew our website needed to scale up in tandem. It was under that pretense that we decided to redesign the site in 2015 as a means to better tell our story and showcase our current and planned new locations.
Another three years later, we’ve released a brand-new version of our website with an updated look and feel that better reflects our identity, our evolution, and our business journey.
The New Vision
Our vision with this project was to align our brand identity with the look and feel we wanted for iQ. We enlisted ThinkTank Creative to design our colours, fonts, and new website. Our marketing consultant, Kevin Whelan, collaborated closely with ThinkTank to preserve what worked with our old design while allowing them the creative freedom to do what they do best: create outstanding brand experiences. Kevin and his team of freelance developers also oversaw the site’s development to ensure a smooth transition from old to new.
Based on our own data combined with anecdotal feedback, we wanted the new site to follow a similar structure to the old site: easy to navigate with efficient access to the information our customers need. As with any website, finding key information without scratching your head to find it is of paramount importance.
Our Thought Process
iQ offices are vibrant and energetic professional communities. With our new website, we understood the importance of bringing that to life. So instead of showcasing only empty meeting rooms and offices, we also added new imagery of our members interacting with our spaces to provide people with a better picture of what it feels like to work at iQ.
In the spirit of allowing people to find key information without scratching their heads, we eliminated unnecessary clicks and navigation by unpacking content that was once hidden away in tabbed content sections and spreading it down the page for enhanced visibility.
Based on feedback that people didn’t know we had things like floor plans and brochures, we made all the key pages accessible within one or two clicks from the main navigation at the top, eliminating the need to dig for content.
Accessibility is key. That’s why we kept things like the phone number at the top of each page to make it unmissable for people who wanted to contact us. We also made booking a tour extremely easy, no matter which page you were on.
SEO considerations were key to the success of this refresh. Understanding the importance of our search engine rankings in allowing people to find us, our priority was to ensure we would maintain those rankings when we rebuilt the site from scratch. In light of that, we decided not to rewrite our content before launching the new website to help us better isolate which changes might affect our rankings.
Now that the website is live and our search engine rankings didn’t tank, we’re moving on to phase two: a fulsome website copy refresh. Since much of our current copy was originally written when we had only one or two locations., our next challenge is to rewrite the page copy on our key location and service pages to better reflect the evolution of our business, including the 5 locations we have grown to today. With each location being unique in its own right, our goal is to convey the features and benefits of iQ’s holistic commitment to providing a consistent premium experience without excluding key details on what makes each space unique.
Lessons and takeaways
As always, we learned a lot during this process. We learned that evolution doesn’t happen overnight. Much like iQ as a business, we learned that work with our website can be done in phases and things don’t need to be changed in one broad sweeping action. Instead, they can be done incrementally over time.
One thing is for sure, we never stop working on, improving and evolving our website, much in the same way we never stop improving and evolving our business to help us better serve our members.