A digital rebranding and reimagined website design for a Canadian financial institution, XMC Mortgage Corporation.
After undergoing a significant corporate rebrand, XMC hired our Toronto web design company to provide a detailed online analysis of their existing web presence and website design strategy to transition the new brand online. Before kicking off our discovery phase, as with all website design and development projects, we worked with XMC to identify the goals and objectives for the project to keep everyone focused going forward and from which we could measure the success of the new website.
Website Design Goals
- Corporate rebranding – following the completion of XMC’s logo design project, our primary focus was extending the new branding across all digital corporate communications, including ads, email communications and the website user interface.
- Website user interface design – to provide a truly responsive experience online, a contemporary website design interface would be designed to communicate across all devices effectively.
- Custom WordPress development – allowing XMC to control content and make daily updates to ever-changing mortgage rates, we opted for a custom WordPress back-end for the new website.
- Broker Locator – utilizing geo-location services, we aimed to develop a Broker Locator tool within the new website allowing registered customers to search for and contact XMC-approved mortgage brokers.
- Financial Calculators – to provide a trustworthy and complete user experience for potential XMC customers, our skilled web developers would create a series of mortgage calculators to provide up-to-date financial projections to users to make educated decisions about their finances.
Our Web Design for Financial Institutions Process
Website Strategy and Brand Research
Our boutique web design agency in Toronto has been working with financial brands of all kinds for many years. With this extensive experience comes tried and trusted practical knowledge of how to effectively approach web design for financial institutions to not only achieve our client’s goals but also to communicate successfully with their customers.
As with all website design projects, we begin with a creative project kickoff questionnaire to help understand our client’s corporate culture and internal brand views. Our questionnaire extracts the answers and ideas necessary to help translate research into visual design through what may at first seem like silly questions such as “if you were a type of shoe, what would you be?” Ultimately, the answers provided to the questions help form a much clearer perception of the brand.
While our clients complete the questionnaire, our Toronto web designers review the existing website analytics to identify current user challenges and functionality issues to address within the new website design. Additionally, through the review of the user data, our website design team can hand-craft a new website design and interactive experience tailored to a specific audience and technology.
Based on our findings throughout the Discovery phase of the project, our next step is to build a website design and development strategy. The first step in our website design strategy is to create a sitemap to identify all pages that will exist on the new website. The site mapping exercise also allows us to tackle any current navigation issues within the old website and make improvements to the navigational experience on the new website.
Following the completion of the sitemap, our web designers and WordPress developers work together to design and build wireframes. The wireframes are a beneficial information architecture design exercise that allows us to map out each unique page layout required within the new website while avoiding the distraction of design, colour and imagery. In doing this, we can quickly and easily make adjustments and revisions to the wireframes as we review and discuss with our client. This practice eliminates additional rounds of changes that are much more time consuming during design, keeping our project budget and timeline in check.
We share the wireframes with our client in an online prototyping tool that allows all stakeholders to login to view and interact with wireframes in context. This tool will enable decision-makers to experience the website strategy in an actual web-based environment so that they can make informed decisions rather than making assumptions based on static images or PDF files.