PLEASE ALLOW US TO REINTRODUCE OURSELVES
BL3NDlabs is a a full stack digital product firm that builds digital products for companies changing the future of business. It’s also where I work! The Design Team worked on the new site to better tell the who, what, why and how of BL3NDlabs.
When I started working at BL3NDlabs, I had heard that our site was in need of a refresh, but I hadn’t really known what the exact reasons for it were. The leaders of our BL3NDlabs are transparent about the project inquiries that we get and the status of the projects. So, there’s always a lot of excitement when we’re in talks with either a recognized company or just an awesome project. But then, this was when I realized why BL3NDlabs was in need of a new website. The old site was a simple 1-page, that was vague about the work that we do. It also didn’t share the work that we had done, which challenges our credibility. So, in result, it was always a struggle to land some of those big projects.
We first started off by working through the feedback that we had been receiving from potential clients and the projects that we weren’t selected for. We were also able to get some quality feedback from candidates that we had been interviewing, so that was an unexpected, but great source of feedback. After sorting through the feedback, we were able to identify 3 key pain points. Users were looking for:
The services that we offered
Examples of the work and projects that we had done
The leaders and people of BL3NDlabs
Our Case Studies
Before the new website, we were sharing our work either by word of mouth, or we sat them down and walked them through our project decks. But with the new site and case studies, it became easier to share our work and the process that was behind it.
Not only were we excited about it, but our partners were ecstatic to see their projects featured as well. This became clear because we found out that our partners began sharing our website to any friends and networks that were in need of our services, which we showed what we do and were capable of.
Read What We’re About
Copy has been one thing that I didn’t consider to have such an impact on design, but luckily our Head of Design has a background in copywriting and we all got to work through the voice of the website. We wanted it to be clear what we did, followed up with why (our process), so that potential partners would understand how we work.
Stills and Reels
A big value of BL3NDlabs is that we see our clients as partners. And to support that sense of human connection, it was important to show the people of BL3NDlabs. I began shooting and building up a photo library that would support our Home, Team and Services pages, as well as creating video grids in our footer and Services page. We already had a process for compressing our images, so I put together a process for compressing the videos on our site. (Thanks Handbrake!)
One thing that we learned from building an assets library of photos and videos was the importance of Alt Text. Accessibility had been an issue for some of our partners’ websites, and before we could help them, we wanted to make sure we were addressing it correctly on our site. With the photos and videos that we were going to have on our site, Alt Text became important in our process because if someone with visual impairments visited our site, they would have no idea what images, or worse, what clips were composing the videos. So, by adding in Alt Texts be descriptive and informative, our photos and videos were accessible to those with visual impairments. And with this process for Alt Texts, we were able to apply it on the websites of our partners.
My primary role was working on the interaction design, as well as the photo and video assets on the website. I researched how other product companies and agencies were using to tell their story or to share their work, and I came up with different prototypes and animations to visually answer the who, what, and why of BL3NDlabs.
It’s been very exciting to re-launch our site and to share our case studies and our process with potential partners. It was our goal to launch with 3 case studies because it showed the different industries that we designed for and that we’re capable of designing solutions for any industry. And to have the site responsive, even with our Parallax, photo and video grids was awesome.
Another great takeaway was building a process, for Accessibility, that addresses Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0. It’s definitely an on-going effort, but it was something important for us to address on our site, as we would be doing that work for our partners as well.
We believe that design is never done, and have continued to see where we can add improvements to the experience of our site. One thing that we’re working on is our News section, which shares the individual news of our employees, so be on the lookout for that!