We’re into payments, so how on earth could we have a cool site? Oh, and make it attractive to potential clients at the same time. (After all, we eventually have to make some money, right?)
Yet we wanted a good looking and effective website.. Especially that our old one was… well, let’s be honest – it wasn’t exactly George Clooney of CSS. But that’s perfectly normal, every site eventually gets old and requires corrections or rearrangements.
It’s just that we decided, that our needs replacement.
How does a good payment service provider website look like?
Yeah, we asked ourselves the very same question. So we sat in front of our computers, searched for websites of similar firms and found out, that… nearly none of them looks nice.
One might say that’s good, because it should be a piece of cake to outrun everybody. On the other hand we still didn’t have a clue about what could be done differently without taking much chances.
A layout from scratch
We defined who’s our target, how we’d like to attract him, what kind of content do we want to place on the homepage etc. We gave all the guidelines to our friendly neighbourhood graphic designers (a few rooms in the east direction) and after some time we got two projects in response.
The advantage and disadvantage of getting two things is that you get something to choose from. But it’s clearly didn’t apply to us, cause we didn’t choose any of the presented projects.
They weren’t actually bad, we even liked some elements in both of them. These layout were simply all right, they could do.
We wanted more than that.
One brainstorm is not enough.
We gathered again and this time it was literally everybody: managers, programmers, support, copywriters etc. Everyone selected some websites, presented them to others and explained what he or she liked about them.
And that was great, because each person paid attention to different things. For example, people from support know what kind of problems out clients might have or what information they seek.
It was very creative.
Brand new guidelines
We used a whiteboard and simply drew the layout. Well, “drawing” maybe isn’t the best word, cause we also decided to make the website clean and minimalistic.
We built the footer and continued going up. Somehow it worked great for us. Everything went smooth that way, although we still don’t know why. Our suspicion is that after preparing the websites body, it was easier to match a suitable header. Doing this the other way always provoked a lot of discussion about the top.
The layout was so simple, that our designers couldn’t really make two really different projects. They presented us two similar ones, we combined them, made some little corrections and…
Of course it’s only the project – now the webmasters have some work.
What did we get?
In spite of what “the philosopher Jagger said” – we got what we wanted. Our website is going to be nice looking, clean and elegant.
But wait, aren’t we being immodest? Not really. (Oh, maybe just a little.)
Asking some people about their feelings about the layout led us to conclusion, that everything went quite well. They weren’t informed about the page character, content, the design aims etc.
And they pretty much said exactly what we wanted them to say: it’s a page about payments, looks like there is enough information (it’s not just “an online business card”), easy to navigate. And everybody found it nice and elegant.
So we only hope that they weren’t just polite ;)