Designing a marketing concept for a financial software company
A case study for creating a responsive home page
Note: This case study was originally written for Medium, you can read it there too. Also, it gives a detailed account of my process on a project I contributed to as a freelancer for an agency. As this project is still in progress and has yet to go live, for now I’ve left out details about the client and specifics about the project.
In September of 2017, I partnered with a NYC-based agency to help develop a unique visual style direction for a new marketing website for one of their clients. The client was an established software company in the financial industry, looking to take their brand to the next level. I joined the agency’s team as a freelancer to help explore potential directions for the client’s homepage.
Given my experience working at Chartbeat and SproutVideo, I am familiar with the challenges of conveying the benefits of a business-to-business platform in a way that is simple and appealing to industry stakeholders. For this client, the brand also needed to be perceived as bold, powerful, and trustworthy.
Because we needed to generate a few well-developed ideas very quickly, we decided to divide and conquer. Each designer on the team would generate their own distinctive style for the homepage, to be presented to the client and iterated on.
The logos the team was experimenting with at the time all centered around a symbol involving circles — one opening up, some overlapping and coming together. Going with that central image, I explored using circles as a recurring theme for the design.
I began, as I almost always do, by turning to Dribbble for inspiration. I wanted to see how other designers approached brands that had a bold, confident voice, and how other designers incorporated a theme of circles into their work.
Feeling inspired and ready to get to work, I began with a grayscale wireframe. This allowed me to focus on the hierarchy, overarching themes, and structure of the page without worrying about color schemes yet. I knew the project would need to convey the idea of financial data without showing actual screenshots or real data, so I explored illustrating various graphs and financial information to support the content. Other elements included were the logos of various companies using the clients’ software, and headlines from prestigious publications who had written about them.
Having received a thumbs up on the general approach to the page, I began experimenting with different color, typography, and imagery. The first iterations were mostly light and muted with bold color accents on the imagery.
After this initial exploration, we realized the brand would be best served by a strong, confident voice, which would be reflected by dark, bold, high-contrast colors.
We kept pushing this concept further, experimenting with the use of gradients, textures, and patterns to really emphasize the company’s unique branding and to give the visuals a lasting impact.
Once I’d settled on an approach for the desktop-sized version, I created a mobile version of the homepage design.