Role
I spearheaded the research and design of West General’s marketing website, increasing online presentation leads by 500% and sales by 130% during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tools
Figma, Miro, Optimal Workshop, Google Trends, WebFlow

Duration
3 Months

West General's website pivots to first point-of-contact during COVID-19

 “In challenging times, there is nothing more important than being nimble: being open to a pivot, actively seeking out ways to innovate and change to meet the demands of the moment.”
— Sonat Hart

West General is an architectural and acoustic materials sales team. They advertise manufacturing company products to architects and aid in making the sale.

West General relies on in-person presentations of their product to increase sales. This allows a sales rep to inspire a large audience of architects and answer their product related questions. During the pandemic, all sales have moved online, making the website the main point of contact and first impression.


Before (left) and after (right) several information architecture and design iterations.




Goal
How might we recover sales leads to pre-pandemic levels?

An abrupt switch from live presentations to using an unaesthetic company website resulted in reduced sales. My goal was to help rejuvenate sales during the pandemic by redesigning their first point-of-contact; the website.

Pre-pandemic

8
MONTHLY PRESENTATIONS

~$35,000
MONTHLY SALES

During pandemic

↓ 87.5%
MONTHLY  PRESENTATIONS

↓ $13,000
MONTHLY SALES

Literature Review
Understanding What Architects Want

I conducted a literature review on what architects want manufacturer websites to feature, and learned that they want to see: aesthetically professional website design, sales representatives they can contact, inspirational sample images, and visible information.

Contrary to popular beliefs, hidden information does not encourage them to inquire further, specifically they are deterred by this.

Areas of Improvement
Key Insights and Problem Areas

Architects, West General's users, are designers themselves, a poorly designed website was not going to appeal to them as customers or as users. Additionally, the current website was not categorized well. An architect would have to sift through every single product to find what they were looking for.

Cardsorting
Time is Precious, and Categorization Saves Time

Since research shows that architects are frequently frustrated by barriers to information on manufacturer websites. I conducted an open card sort and learned that users were most likely to create three groups: acoustics, wall panelings, and ceilings. Instead of having to sift through all 22 product pages, the product categories allowed architects to find what they're looking for faster.

Information Architecture
Lower Barriers

Literature research revealed architects are frustrated by hidden information, I made information easily accessible using principles of Information Architecture by Dan Brown.

Design Direction
Consistency is Key

The original website featured no unifying theme, so making reusable text formats helped tie things together. I chose a subtle color scheme so it did not detract from the photography. Work sans is legible, clean, and trendy and a light blue conveys trust, matches their already existing logo, and is subtle.

Business Goals
Making Scheduling a Presentation an Easier Process

On one hand, architects don't want to make unnecessary phone calls, but they will call once they're interested in the product. On the other hand, West General's success relies on scheduled presentations but currently features a phone number. I included a short form in the footer of every page so they can easily contact West General online from any page on the website.

The Launch
Tying it All Together and Defining the New Experience

COVID-19 led West General to represent their company via their website and a subpar design was leading to a lowering of sales. My goal was to redesign an informative and aesthetically pleasing experience for West General since it was architect users’ first impression of the company.

  • Large inspirational photos
  • Consistent and unifying font hierarchy
  • Followed popular design trends
  • Efficiently categorized content
  • Lots of white space
  • Space between groups to delineate elements
  • Responsive mobile version

Impact
Increasing Sales and Scheduled Presentations

Before Pandemic

8
Monthly Presentations

Sales representatives would do presentations to weekly to large audience of potential customers.

During Pandemic

1
MONTHLY PRESENTATIONS

After linking the original website in emails, customers, with their limited time, would not inquire further

After Redesign
‍‍

5
MONTHLY PRESENTATIONS

The website redesign resulted in better first impressions and more scheduled presentations.

~$35,000
MONTHLY SALES

Sales representatives would do presentations to weekly to large audience of potential customers.

~$22,000
MONTHLY SALES

While the company continued to survive and engage with potential customers, hardly any resulted in profit.

~$29,000
MONTHLY SALES

A combination of setting into the pandemic and a better first impression website increased product sales.

Next steps
What's Next for West General?

After the launch, sales representatives from West General used the website to excite potential customers increasing scheduled presentations by 500%.

The plan is to monitor the website traffic, presentation inquiries, and sales to see if it reaches pre-pandemic levels.

I can't emphasize how empowering it is to see a simple website redesign lead to an increase in customer inquiries. I'm excited to see how the website assists in sales when the pandemic is over!

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