- User Experience Strategy
- User Experience Design
- User Interface Design
- Responsive Design
- Mobile Design & Development
- Digital Brand Translation
- Brand & Content Strategy
Established more than 30 years ago, the GEL Group Inc. (GEL) companies provide analytical testing, environmental consulting, civil engineering and geophysical engineering services for some of the most high-profile government institutions and industrial companies in the country. However, the company felt its website didn’t adequately demonstrate its deep expertise in the market or clarify its service offerings and competitive advantage.
Really digging in
Because GEL offers such a wide variety of services under a broad umbrella, we sought to develop content first that would anchor our website design strategy. We conducted 75 in-depth client interviews, research competitors, and came up to speed on industry best practices before starting the physical process of designing and building GEL’s site. This content-driven strategy helped us form a complete picture of GEL and its intricacies in order to build a brand from a place of deep understanding, as opposed to uncovering unknown elements once a concrete plan was already in motion.
We not only focused on the key decision-makers at GEL, we dug into each layer of the company and found value in everyone’s experience in their individual roles. This helped us visualize and create the four divisions that took shape during the design process and define each division and what makes a unique part of the whole.
Reengineering the plan
Our interviews and research into GEL proved beneficial early on, when what had been a single website project shifted into one corporate site and four sub-websites. It became clear to the business team that there was a critical need to present GEL’s services in a clear, understandable way — which meant breaking them into divisions under one umbrella site. When someone visited GEL looking for engineering services, they would no longer have to sift through information on laboratories or testing. This also eliminated a sensitive area within the GEL corporation where customers of certain divisions were technically competitors of other GEL divisions. Now that the services would be split into their own sub-sites, the blurred lines would become clearer. This project was no longer a website, but a corporate strategy that had potential to go beyond the browser.
Making the complicated beautiful
The challenge lay in creating these five sites - GEL Laboratories, GEL Engineering, GEL Geophysics, Cape Fear Analytics, and The Gel Group - with unique identities while tying them together with a look and feel that was GEL at its core. The design team was faced with the question "How do we make niche scientific services aesthetically pleasing?" They ultimately decided to create a unique icon for each service that would represent each of the company's divisions. The layout of each sub-site was similar and the icons created a uniform theme that tied back to the umbrella GEL brand.
The design process focused on creating a system of graphic elements and color palettes to help the companies feel different from one another while still part of one umbrella company.
Putting it to the test
It was clear after launch that visitors and GEL site owners alike were having increasingly positive experiences on the new sites. We implemented a user-friendly content management system which made keeping content up-to-date and relevant simple and fast for the GEL team, and increased the quality of lead capture through form integration. Traffic and leads increased steadily, and sentiment among visitors has been overwhelmingly positive, resulting in an 116% increase in leads.
By implementing an intuitive process for connecting with the specific GEL service their customers were targeting, we were able to double the number of quality leads.
2014 w3 Award