About this project
Redwaters are a property letting agent based in Leigh. They pride themselves on good service, for tenants and landlords alike. They approached me to design and build them an updated website to replace their existing website, which was very outdated and difficult to navigate and hard to update.
Above all, Redwaters wanted a modern site that made it easy to update with new listings and presented the relevant (and legally required) information to potential tenants and landlords.
THE DESIGN PROCESS
DEFINING USER PERSONAS
Redwaters essentially have two markets – landlords and tenants. As such their site had to address different questions and queries each will have.
After much discussion, we developed several key user-personas based on Redwaters typical customers that aided us in identifying individual end goals based on their experience with past and present lettings.
As well as identifying common user goals, personas also gave us some insight into a user's potential experience level, as well as the technology level that may be used to access the website.
For example, our persona for 'Burt' quickly told us that a phone number should be easy to find, but also that the site shouldn't rely on web technology that's not supported by older computer browsers (or perhaps blocked on public machines) to ensure users who access the site with older technology can still view and arrange lettings.
From here I could start to work out optimal user journeys, the ideal path a user should take until they reach their end goal.
Whilst these steps are not 100% accurate (there will inevitably be some back and forth between pages or deviation from the journey), anticipating the user's top needs helped me to identify the information they required and the steps they are likely to want to take after acquiring it.
Once I had a clear idea of the users' needs, I could start thinking about content and its optimal placement on the page through sketches and wireframes.
Personally, I prefer to do my initial wireframes on paper, I find it helps me to quickly put down ideas and disregard them if they don't work, whereas using software can inadvertently start you thinking about a visual design too early.
Once I was happy with the overall thumbnails of the page content I moved into Sketch and started creating the actual designs.
The final version of the site is responsive and powered by Perch, a great, easy to use CMS. Redwaters have reported a boost in enquiries since the new site went live.