The events of 2020 have given us the opportunity to make a fresh start, invest in our people and technology and come back to the market with a better proposition that helps more people with a wider range of needs. Our new website is a good example of the benefits of having time to stand back for a moment and understand how to deliver the future of mortgages, now.
The new website was developed in close collaboration with our intermediaries, who were involved with us in the design process from the outset to ensure we were hitting the right notes with our most important customers. They gave us the thumbs up for our website’s new look and feel and its User Interface (UI) – how intermediaries use the core elements of the site to get things done.
Look and feel – “Life’s never a straight line”
The single, unbroken line flowing through the pages of our website, across our advertising and online literature was developed in conversation with our brokers to represent an application flowing through our business, all the way from the broker’s initial contact with us right the way through to offer. Our intermediaries also commented that the line illustrations reminded them of a ‘blueprint drawing’ or ‘process diagram’, which aligned with our 2020 vision of becoming known not only for our great products, but also our smart, straightforward underwriting and offer processes. Put simply, we wanted our 2020 look and feel to act as an indicator to our brokers as to how it will feel to do business with us.
Another key objective of the 2020 refresh was to modernise the online Vida brand and create a look and feel which brokers would be familiar with from their personal digital experiences, such as online shopping or interacting with mobile apps. We achieved the ‘B2C look’ by surrounding the clean, unbroken line graphics with plenty of white space and using simple shapes to encourage the intermediary to convert their intention into action, in the same way today’s best B2C sites nudge the user towards an action or a purchase.
User Interface (UI) – ‘one-page’ design is the winner!
To create the eye-catching new, one-page design we workshopped several, low-fi, wireframe prototypes with our brokers, asking them to ‘think out loud’ as they were recorded using the website examples. These early prototypes were simple block-and-text websites used to try and tease out from our brokers what website elements they wanted on the page and where they wanted them positioned. The feedback from these prototype sessions showed that our brokers found the one-page design – with fixed left-hand and bottom menu navigation – the easiest to navigate and the most intuitive to use. Interestingly, brokers commented on the winning design, asking “why don’t others do it this way?!”, so we are confident that the new UI will play a key role in helping us leap ahead of our competitors.
We were further reassured that the single, one-page design was the best option after using on-site behavioural analytics to show that few of our web visitors ever scroll down ‘below the fold’ of the current site, therefore missing key content. By concentrating all the key website elements on one page, we focus the customers’ decision-making and can better support brokers’ web journeys.
We’re confident that the combination of this transformational new UI and blueprint-inspired, visual language will turn heads in 2020 and beyond, through memorable, meaningful, broker-led design.