Perhaps our favourite thing about the industry we’re in is that we get to work with a huge variety of businesses, from luxury design to leather wallets and the real estate game. Working with such a diverse mix of companies we get a taste of all sorts and see how different business run.
Whilst in many cases this takes shape by understanding how competitors are gaining their edge, and honing our clients marketing and website design accordingly, with DeVono this was simply impossible. Why? Because DeVono are the market leaders – they have carved a completely unique niche for themselves.
Rather than approaching this job so as to individuate them from the crowd, we instead needed to create a website that represented their game changing calibre. So how did we do it? Let’s find out…
About The Client
Responsible for 1 in 5 commercial property acquisitions in the city DeVono are an internationally renowned commercial property agency. They fight to get their clients a fair deal in a city whose property prices are soaring without limit. To date they have saved their clients a total of £285.2million in London alone, by ensuring that they get the best possible deal.
Simply put, they’re the biggest fish around.
The problem they were encountering was that many of the visitors to their website thought that they were a simply estate agents, which isn’t the case. Unlike most of their competition, they don’t represent landlords. They represent their clients and have no vested interest in letting properties. Along with producing a top notch, responsive site, getting this value proposition across was the key focus of the project.
A unique business requires a unique solution. That’s why our development team chose a combination of PHP, MySQL, Ajax, Yii2 to develop this responsive website. We wanted to create a portal that could easily scour DeVono’s database of properties simultaneously for a large amount of visitors, delivering a high performance user experience and minimising load times on all devices. We chose these coding languages because they allowed us to speed up the development process, freeing us up to spend more time creating bespoke functions for their users.
With the framework in place, we wanted to create custom tools for DeVono’s users in order to deliver that unique experience.
The website’s previous search function was laborious, requiring the user to enter a great deal of information. This was a pain, especially when users just wanted to do some quick research. So we sought about creating a simple search function that would require the least user input possible and still return pertinent results:
The Office Space Calculator
Our research has shown that potential clients are unlikely to call to get a quote because they don’t want to wind up speaking to a sales agent. For DeVono’s users we created an easy to use calculator that instantaneously generates property results which fit their requirements using a bespoke algorithm.
The user is then offered the option to refine their search results based on location and tenure. What’s unique about what we’ve produce here is that the user can also filter by square foot (for the UK market), square metres (for the international market) or number of staff.
This then delivers high quality search results based on the clients’ needs, often saving them a considerable amount of money.
Additionally, this method generates leads for DeVono to follow up through segmented marketing, which has shown a considerable improvement upon conversion rate.
Customised CMS For Clients
Going the extra step for their clients, DeVono’s customer service extends to a custom content management system (CMS). This allows the client to manage their property rentals and additional services from DeVono. Connected to the familiar and easy-to-use WordPress back end, we’ve made it as simple as possible to navigate.
Website Design: Colours
DeVono already had a very strong brand identity and colour palette when we started working with them. Their old site didn’t. In order to create a sense of continuity between their print and digital, we tried to use these colours as much as possible without over saturating the website. In order to make it a little more interesting, these colours change slightly depending upon which page you’re on. Click here and here to see what we mean.
The Look & Feel
The whole point of creating a new website is to make it look and feel fresh and new. In order to do this we use a fluid full container grid on the layout so that the site’s key functions and value propositions stood out.
As this is a complex website containing a LOT of information, we didn’t want the user to get bogged down trying to navigate their way around. We avoided this by letting the site breathe by playing with negative space.
The old website was built up over time with new pieces added here and there. This meant it was extremely inconsistent in terms of design. Creating layout solutions, which we could use repeatedly, made the website a whole lot simpler to view and navigate – especially on mobile devices.
By creating a fixed menu, which sticks to the top of the screen no matter where you are on the page, users can navigate with ease. More importantly the menu now contains a ‘FIND AN OFFICE’ button, subtly and consistently prompting users to make a search.
Without doubt the most important page on any website. It not only tells visitors what they can expect from your website, but you as a company. Here we wanted to create a really strong narrative that got across DeVono’s value proposition clearly, concisely and, most importantly, with real zeal.
By combining simple graphics with strong, hard hitting, honest copy, we made sure that their users know exactly what DeVono do, and where the value in their services lay!
Weaving calls to action (CTAs) throughout each element, we ensured that we were maximising the potential to develop leads and increase user interaction. Take a look at the ‘Meet The Team’ function, for instance:
To get a real idea of what we’re talking about, we highly recommend clicking this link to see the page in full.
Our previous research has shown a dramatic increase in user interaction with supporting video content. We’re not talking about those old school, auto-playing talking heads videos, but captivating, information-rich client testimonials. Take a peak at what our videographer came up with…