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Case Study

The Emigration Group

The Emigration Group are one of our oldest clients; because we’ve been working with them for so long we have a great understanding of how they work. This means we can tackle projects and campaigns with them quickly and efficiently, reducing nasty time-overheads and producing work that hits all the right spots.

After almost 10 years growing, refining and optimising their existing site, the decision was taken to plunge headfirst into a mobile-friendly redesign. This presented a whole new set of opportunities and challenges.

How the new site performed

By addressing every aspect of the website, from the user-experience to the marketing message, we left no stone unturned in making sure we delivered really spectacular return on investment for the client.

38%

Decrease in bounce rates year-on-year
from 60.34% to just 37.44%

+10%

Rate of conversion post-relaunch.

How we did it

Understanding the scope

The existing website had seen plenty of success but was beginning to look dated, plus the content had outgrown it, so we needed a brand new site structure to go with the new look. Mobile traffic has grown tremendously over the past few years and websites that aren’t adaptable to this will suffer as a result.

Our primary consideration was that the website was already experiencing high levels of conversion, so we had a high benchmark to improve upon.


Test, and test again

Working with genuine insights and solid data is the only way to remove uncertainty from a redesign process. Using the existing site as a starting point, our UX team have a number of different research methods at their disposal, which - when combined - give us some very clear, powerful pointers into obvious areas of improvement across the website.

Analytical Analysis

Analytical Analysis

Google Analytics is a great starting point to understand how the site functions in general: where users are coming in and leaving the website, how long they are staying, and whether they convert.

Eye-tracking

Eye-tracking

Eye-tracking tests give us some context to the Analtyics data. They let us see how users react to the content, not only textual but layout and imagery too. This provides a big clue to understanding their behaviours on-site.

Goal-oriented Lab Testing

Goal-oriented Lab Testing

We can identify the barriers and pain points in terms of a user achieving our objectives simply by observing them trying to satisfy certain tasks on the website. Useful for ironing out usability issues, but also for generally empathising with the user’s point of view.

Independent Consultancy

Independent Consultancy

We worked with a third-party consultant in order to give us fresh eyes on any problems we’d encounter. He also had experience in Emigration Services, and so helped us to further understand the idiosyncracies of the industry.

User Research

User Research

Not all research has to be high-tech. Simply scouring a number of ex-pat forums and social profiles helped us to understand many of the frustrations of those that have, or are currently, emigrating.

Stakeholder interviews

Stakeholder interviews

Our client allowed us to speak directly to many of their customers to ask them directly what content or features they’d like to see on a website. This information also enables us to create realistic user personas at a later stage of the process.

Despite its good performance, some high level usability issues were raised with the existing site which, if we could primarily focus our efforts on, would effectively guarantee an improvement of the user-experience meaning a better-performing site as a baseline. This would mitigate risk when making alterations and allow us to be bolder in our approach.

The main issues arising from our research were:

The destination, not the journey

The chance to re-design the website from the ground up would allow us to totally re-align our marketing approach. We wanted to frame the experience around the promise of a wonderful new life, and we had found from our research that users we interested in themes such as family, security, sun and work-life balance. The existing site’s imagery often focused around quite dry, corporate themes, such as meetings and consultations.

We collated a lot of example photography which conveyed the themes we wish to project on the new site:

With such evocative, and often breathtaking imagery at our disposal, it seemed like such a wasted opportunity not to utilise it. Previously, we had always been careful not to employ imagery that made the client look like a holiday travel company, so we had the awareness of looking for genuine-looking lifestyle shots at this point.

Crafting the perfect experience

Our working process is steady and iterative. This keeps the client involved constantly so there are no unsavoury surprises. It also gives our design team the confidence to fully explore the possibilities, knowing that there is complete backing from the client.

User personas

As a manifestation of our research, we build prospective user personas. These are based on real human data, simplified and re-positioned around how they would interact with the website. We can generate questions based around their specific needs, to ensure the finished website will give them the answers they require.

Prototypes

The first steps in creation of the physical website. Pages are created without any styling of note, simply layout and draft content in place. This allows the client to understand our plan for each section, without the distraction of cosmetic elements, to ensure the user-journey is logical and free-flowing.

Visual mock-ups

Finally, brand elements are applied across all pages. Colours and imagery are used to ensure there is a brand-hierarchy and to guide the eye to relevant navigational points or calls-to-action.

EXAMPLE OF FINISHED DESIGN

The really clever bits

It wasn’t all sweeping vistas and sunny barbeques. We also put in some very nice bits behind the scenes that we’re extremely proud of. Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t flipping brilliant.

Video editing

If a picture speaks a thousand words, then a video tells a life’s story. We used moving images to grab the user’s attention on the homepages of the website and connect on an emotive, aspirational level.

Location pages

Each time a new location is added for a seminar, it is then held in the database indefinitely with a unique URL on the front-end of the site. This means it’s constantly indexed by Google, so never loses search authority when future seminars are staged in the same location.

Bespoke CMS

Due to the complexity of the page types and the level of control expected by the client, we built the content management system from the ground up.

Page load optimisation

With site speed such a vital metric in Google’s view, we tweaked and toned where we could to trim off any unnecessary bloat. This meant dropping video on mobile devices, manual compression of images and lightweight javascript.

Google Map integration

Custom integration of Google Maps on seminar section, including placement of local amenities. This is all easily editable by the client through our bespokely-created content management system.

Conversion testing

We carried out continual split testing on enquiry forms to keep tweaking and refining. This took away the guesswork and guaranteed conversion rate improvements, with minimal expense.