Maybe it is an exaggeration, but a website is one of the most important elements of your business. Probably even more important than profiles on LinkedIn or Instagram. It not only presents information about the scope of your services, the team it creates, or the history of the company but also allows potential customers to see how you present your company to the world so that they can later decide to contact you (or – which may also happen – about the resignation from this contact).
As you know – fashion is changing, website styles are evolving, and so is our knowledge of effective ways of communicating online. Neither is any website perfect and therefore needs constant improvement. No matter how popular or prestigious the company is – inconsistent visual layer, unclear company profile, or complex offer – can be obstacles in attracting more customers. Why? Visibly polished and user-friendly websites inspire greater trust in people than those that seem to have been outdated for a long time. Especially, when you offer software development services… We were also in that place.
Why did we decide to redesign our website?
The main reason that prompted us to seriously consider our website’s redesign and optimization was insufficient performance, both on mobile devices and on the web. We realized and we are aware that the speed of loading websites affects all its key aspects such as position in search rankings, overall user engagement, and conversions. Who doesn’t feel frustrated browsing a slow-loading website, especially on mobile devices? It is worth building a positive user experience from the very beginning.
Inefficient plugins, insufficient image optimization, or file compression – our website’s speed was quite a challenge that brought the expected results. The complete redesign of our website, as well as greater its optimization, had an unquestionable impact on the improvement of the conversion rate. Our SERPs increased along with organic traffic, which translated into more conversions and potential clients.
Redesigning your website doesn’t have to be complicated
No website is perfect and therefore needs constant improvement. Ours functioned well, but we were not satisfied with the evaluation of its performance. We wanted to take a closer look at it, think about what would be worth improving to increase our user experience. The visual design of our website was how to say it? It no longer meets our expectations. 🙂
Nowadays, 2 billion people – 51% of the world’s population – only access the Internet from their smartphones. It is expected that by 2025 this number will increase to 72.5%.
Websites are usually designed for the best performance on the desktop. Designers or programmers develop extensive functionality and graphics that are created for both large screens and high-speed data connections. The mobile version of the website is usually planned as the second step and is just a kind of “addition” to the home page. We decided to take a different approach.
Redesign in the so-called Mobile-First approach turned out to be a great strategy for us to apply. Designing for mobile is more limited. After all, we design views on a smaller screen and we can fit specific elements on it. This means we choose only what is the most important to us – what our users need most – and neglect everything else. When expanding your project, you can add other elements to it, but you know exactly what you need to focus on the most.
Change of approach to web redesign
Together with Natalia, our Marketing Manager, and Radosław, our CIO, we have defined the exact priorities. First of all, what we expect from the new website, how we want to communicate ourselves as a company and what we want to avoid when it comes to communication, but also design. We aspired to focus mainly on people – to show that our company is primarily the team who creates it and customers who work with us. Through the home page, our aim was to show the clients what they can gain by starting cooperation with us. Our goal was to present it with numbers and measurable results. A clear, detailed offer with specific services we provide, the real value that we brought (as well as through the new experience – we gained) to individual projects as well as specific case studies that we want to share, were our priority here. We wanted every user to have the best possible experience of using our new website.
Cooperation with other teams on other subpages was something that was crucial for us. After all, it is not only the website but our true value – people who make up the Applover team and interdisciplinary cooperation. The HR Team created a flow of using the Careers subpage based on feedback from our candidates but also on their experience. Then we consulted the designs and developed this page together. The team focused on content that we have not had on the site so far, and which would definitely make it easier for our candidates to navigate through the Careers tab.
The key here was the involvement of the HR department, who had direct contact with our candidates and knew what to convey to users based on interviews with them.
We wanted our career page to attract and provide as much information as possible to our potential candidates. That is why we created the Recruitment FAQ and described more how we work at Applover and our values.
New services subpage
The Services subpage was also a key element of the new website. Our goal was to clearly communicate our services to users, but also include information on pricing and FAQ. The whole idea that guided us while creating the new website was ‘less is more’. We wanted to communicate our content to others in a clear and understandable way, without unnecessary and inconsistent elements. Therefore, we created a website that we would like to use ourselves. We wanted several key issues – including simple navigation, contact information visible on each subpages, information about our services, and the best content that users can find useful.
Not only design but a new code
Everything we did at the stage of designing the new views directly impacted the other materials we prepared. It marked the direction in which we headed. We also decided to rebuild the website – not only visually but also in code, so it was quite a time-consuming process. In this process, we engaged our newly hired Front-end Developer – Hanna. Her work was to create our new website from scratch, so it does not contain any errors previously made and was optimized as much as possible.
The page was supposed to be editable, so it had to be built with modules that could be easily changed or replaced, depending on the needs. That is why we decided to develop it on WordPress. It had to look good and function well. We knew that the website creation process is not closed. Many people forget that when a new page is released, the work on it does not end. Nothing could be more wrong! This is the time during which we verify our previous assumptions, correct errors (if any), and develop the project further. It is a never-ending process – just like the human being is constantly evolving, and so is the website – we adjust it to our current needs and needs of our clients.
Results of our work
Our new website was published at the beginning of December 2020. Our Front-end Developer put a lot of effort into creating the website which our marketing team will often update easily. Hanna researched the most suitable plugins, installed them carefully, and consulted their use with people who actually will use them. When the development stage was finished, our QA Specialist, Bartosz, tested our work so nothing was omitted and no bug destroys our efforts. What was interesting, when we talked at Daily meetings, Radosław acted as a Business Project Manager, and Natalia was more attentive to the marketing and sales aspects of our website. I believe that this combination made our project successful – there were different perspectives and various opinions. Yet, the discussion always allowed us to finish on the same page and make the needed decisions.
When analyzing the new website, we used, among other tools, Hotjar, which confirmed that users could easily navigate our website – they use specific tabs, enter specific blog articles or job offers. The testimonials are the most popular here – this section is one of the most viewed.
What exactly did we achieve compared to the goals set at the beginning of the redesign?
Our goal was to improve the information architecture and the overall performance on the website to contribute to greater interest from customers, and potential future Applover employees. Thanks to cooperation with other teams, we were able to e.g. create the Careers page anew and focus on users’ expectations. We primarily improved the department’s efficiency, but also saved their time, because most of the issues that candidates usually focused on were available on our new website.
Do you want to find out more about web development process?
Improved website performance
We have achieved the main goal – we shortened the page loading time to 1,3 seconds (92-94 points by Google Page Speed Insights on desktop). Undoubtedly, this had an impact on a better user experience (UX) and increased usability of our website. Moreover, our organic traffic increased a lot, and just after the new website was deployed (8th of December 2020) we saw much more leads from this channel. There is still a lot of work to be done, with the new website we develop our content strategy and publish more and more on our blog. But just for the simple comparison – before we published our new website – our approximate position in Google was 51,2, now for a similar period of time it is 41,9 (according to Google Search Console). Of course, there are more factors that influence this ranking but website optimization is one of the most crucial ones.
Moreover, we can already see more traffic on our Careers Page, and we get more applications from the candidates. You can see our work also on Behance.
Results of Applover teamwork
The redesign of our website was undoubtedly a great step towards improving the development of our company.
One of the most important lessons we learned during this project is the undoubted advantages of teamwork. From the beginning, we discussed all issues in a team where everyone could freely express their opinion and propose their solutions – we were open to any suggestions. Each person could add value to the project. Being the designer of one of my most important projects – the design of the new Applover website – the most significant thing for me was empathizing with the other person – designing a website that will be used by potential customers of our company, but also by me. That is why efficient communication is such an integral part of the whole process.