Customer Dynamics is a technology company specializing in customer relationship management (CRM) and cloud computing applications for businesses using Microsoft.
CEO Ryan Redmond came to us with some specific goals for his website, which you can see in its original state below, and we could see right away that there were content changes that needed to be made.
Ryan wasn’t happy with the look of the site, either, and he was thinking that he needed a new design. He was thinking about starting from scratch.
Actually, we were able to make a compromise. Designer Jay Jaro created a new look, which you can see above, based on the structure of the old design.The original design was essentially five boxes: a rotating banner and four boxes lined up below it. We replaced the images, added an additional content pane below the four boxes, and created new content that better reflects the current reality of Customer Dynamics and communicates that reality to the search engines.
By sticking with the original design structure, we were able to create a new look and feel in a cost effective way. Since we needed to make some updates under the hood to keep the site’s code and function up to date, we brought in the guys at Oyova to implement the design on Customer Dynamics’ DNN platform. That also allowed Jay to jazz up the skin a bit with a new background and rounded corners that give a more modern feel and greater depth.
The big news in this redesign, though is the update for the banners and boxes.
You might call the gallery at the top of the site a slider, slideshow, or rotator. It’s a box that shows four banners in rotation. Ryan wasn’t sure he liked it, and thought he might prefer static content. However, since Customer Dynamics works with several different industries, we wanted to keep the slider if we could make it please Ryan.
The old banners just didn’t communicate accurately about the company. On the left you see one of the old banners. It uses a stock photo that doesn’t tell us anything about the character of the company. “I’ve had problems before,” said Ryan, “with using stock photos and then seeing them all over the internet.” This one doesn’t say anything about the work, style, or character of Customer Dynamics. The headline is poorly laid out, too; while using a variety of styles to make a point is fine, this just looks jumbled. The MSDynamics logo in the corner is distracting, it doesn’t fit the rest of the image in terms of color, and the text that was added to the slider actually overlapped the logo. You can see another banner in the screenshot of the old site above; it had the same problems.
Jay used the MS Dynamics logo as part of the design, integrating it with an image that combines the little people from the old site with the idea of a bar graph showing improvement. The three elements of the image just suggest these ideas, but viewers will respond to them even if they don’t perform that mental analysis. Small touches like the shadows and reflections that create a sense of perspective, the placement of the call to action button (barely visible on the old panel), and the cleaner typography give a more upscale, professional look that is more in keeping with the actual nature of the company.
Jay used several different types of visual elements, but put them all together in visually consistent ways that make the new site more visually appealing. Each element uses familiar symbols of ideas like “solutions,” “cloud computing,” and “collaboration” which are important to the text for Customer Dynamics.
This means that the new banners and boxes reinforce the new text. We’ve also organized the text better so that each banner and box has a specific point to make, so the images can work together with the text to communicate exactly the points we want to make.
Sometimes, your images are designed merely to catch the eye and be appealing to your visitors. Ideally, though, they communicate along with your text. The new design for Customer Dynamics has a depth, cleanness, and stylishness that give a better first impression, and that should be more appealing to visitors. At the same time, the choice of images works with the text to make the point on multiple levels.
When you only have a few seconds to convey your most essential message to your visitors before they decide whether to stay or go, every picture counts.