Exciting changes.

We are really excited to share with you the new home page design and direction for the Clear Books marketing website.

Check it out www.clearbooks.co.uk.

We have been busy at work and there are many new and exciting things to come, but more important than that, we would love to get your response.

It might sound like an odd passion for some, but we are a team that is passionate about what we say, how we say it, and how it looks while we are saying it. We have begun a challenging journey with the Clear Books design that will hopefully not only get you as excited as we are, but also involved in where we take it next.

So what was wrong with how it was?

Originally the Clear Books website was simply trying too hard when it should have been trying harder to be simple. There was too much going on in too small a place all too often. The message we were saying compared to how we presented it with the images was confusing and well… yeah, you probably get the idea, a little bit messy.

How we think we fixed it.

First and foremost Clear Books needed to think ‘Clear’.

The copy is a key part of the Clear Books website so we wanted this to be our focus. We designed around a strong consideration for typography using this to anchor the whole website design. We believe a message that looks ugly is an ugly message.

First we abstracted all our copy into a simple text document to make sense of  it.

Reading plain text we were able to focus on our our message, voice and direction. We combined this working method with the various visual inspiration shared within the team to slowly pull together a first version.

Within the copy we worked hard on word count. We wanted to challenge ourselves to say the same thing, but better, more concise but ultimately with less words. In the copy above the fold alone we reduced word count from 94 down to 63, using simple single word titles in some cases.

We took the same reduction attitude towards our images and colour. Our previous website had a flurry of colour and conflicting images all shouting out to be looked at.

By reducing both image and copy content, complimented with strong grid design, typography and a careful use of white space, we have actually been able to include more information than before, and do it all in a more accessible and readable way.

Old Vs New.

Here is what we did.

  • We cleared up the navigation, used blue in text links instead of as background and buttons, and we fixed the nav to the page top.
  • We maximised the usage of the main title, it’s not only bigger but uses links in the title for emphasis on ‘simple’ and for extra linked information. We have something very exciting to share with you soon regarding the image behind the text.
  • We removed the confusing image-sign-up-combo-thing entirely.
  • The righthand side bar has now moved to span the page using a combination of more relevant and cleaner icons, striking colour and with more concise copy.
  • We now have a community tracker. This is a new feature counting an aggregate value  of all the invoices raised by our paying customers.
  • Two new images areas have been added providing visual and text information about the Clear Books applications features.
  • Testimonials has now been moved and edited  to bring out more concise reviews. We found that although you were saying such amazing things about us, we simply weren’t doing enough to show this off.
  • Industries is another new section showcasing the types of industries that use Clear Books and the benefits you have communicated back to us about Clear Books.
  • A lovely new video has been made showing an introduction to the Clear Books application.
  • Finally our footer area has been cleared up and made a more suitable footer colour.

Exploration.

We are trying out some experimental ideas within Clear Books for latest browsers, the biggest of which is the card system. Cards is basically a dividing of the page into sections. As you scroll through the website, each sections, or card, covers up the previous. It is experimental, so what you think?

We’re on it.

We are already working on improvements to our responsive design, and tweaking each section until we feel we have got it right. We are slowly working through the essential sections of our website focusing the ‘Clear’ mindset into everything we can.

What do you think?

We wouldn’t exist without you and so it’s your feedback, good or bad, that we want to hear. So how about it? Just be nice to us.

Posted by Darren Taylor

Darren is a Marketing Manager specialising in Digital Marketing

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