As usual, I start by sketching and writing. This time, it was more about developing and refining the brand, and I wanted to give it a more modern presentation. When designing marketing and presentation sites it is important to approach it like 'storytelling'. How do you tell the story of a product?
As I worked my way through these sketches I was largely trying to define the purpose of each section. My thinking was that each section should add something meaningful to the explanation about why one might need Zohno. And by having meaningful content, the prospective customer can get a better sense of what the product is and why they need it, which goes much further than just knowing what it does.
A note about sketching:
I made these sketches on an iPad Pro with the Notes app. It's a simple way to draw and write ideas at the same time, and using iCloud sync, I can easily go from sketching to more focused work on the computer. I enjoy these kinds of flexible workflows and I'm always looking for new tools to enable me to practice creative work in interesting ways.
After noodling around with various ideas, I created a higher fidelity sketch (above) to try and define more of what it would need to convey. Each section should have a clearly defined purpose that is easy to understand. Otherwise, it should not be on the homepage. I established the following sections on the homepage:
The products — Z-Hire and Z-Term
Testimonials and proof
How it works
During this time, I also started looking into redesigning the company logo. I created the original logo a while back and I thought it would be good if the branding were included with the website redesign. I sketched out a bunch of different ideas. Not all of them are great, but that's the point of sketching, right? :)
I discussed different ideas with Zohno about the logo, but in the end, I decided that it was a bad idea to expand the scope of the website project by tossing in logo design as well. It was fun to dream about it, but I didn't want to delay the new site launch. Interestingly, the exploration into logo design helped me realize a nice visual concept that I could use on the website.
In the first redesign, I used the angles from the "Z" logo as a visual motif. It was kind of nice, and the subtle, suggestive nature of the graphic design to the brand felt like a good direction to go in, but I also wanted to change it up this time around. Borrowing ideas from the logo exploration, I realized that user provisioning is about interconnections. I mean, yes, the task for sys admins is creating or deleting accounts and things, but the nature of the work is very interconnected. The same data goes into all kinds of different accounts, in different databases, and it all has to be unified. This was the core concept for the new design.
Once I got agreement on the main idea, I sketched how the same visual style could be applied to the rest of the supporting pages. I also needed to create icons for these pages, so I sketched concepts for those as well.