DIY has proved a popular pastime during lockdown and our designers have used this window of opportunity to do some much-needed DIY of our own…

The Right Angle website hasn’t undergone a significant redesign in five years and, considering we spend so much of our time working on our client’s websites we thought it was about time that we had a look our own.

We needed to restore, repair and renew our website… cue operation SOS (save our site).

Your website serves as a digital shop window – research shows that 80% of people will look at your website before contacting you. Therefore, it must reflect your brand accurately and cohesively. Crafting your website to capitalise on new technical innovations and improve user experience should then enhance business opportunities, and who doesn’t want that?

So, let’s hear our designers take on the new website, what obstacles they’ve overcome and what they’ve learnt from their DIY SOS experience…

Why did you decide to redesign the RA website?

James O – The last one was starting to look dated. Generally, you should add new content to your site every week and refresh it every few years to stay ahead of the game. One of the most substantial sections of our website is our portfolio; we wanted to find the best way to showcase the work we create for our clients.

James W – From an SEO perspective, one of the significant reasons for redesigning the site was the release of mobile-first indexing. Due to the majority of Internet users being on a mobile device, in July 2019, Google switched to mobile-first indexing. Our previous website was designed for desktop indexing, so we re-created the new site against the new requirements to maximise Search Engine Optimisation.

Armin – During the planning process, we went right back to the drawing board and gathered feedback about our website from clients and users. After analysing all the data, we gained a good understanding of how people used the site and how best to create a journey through the site that was as smooth as possible.

What worked from the old website and what didn’t?

James O – The portfolio on the previous website was strong but a little cluttered, which wasn’t helping potential clients find the information they needed. We ultimately wanted to improve our user journey to provide current and future clients with the best experience possible.

James W – As part of the redesign, we commissioned a full website audit from an SEO specialist. One of the most successful areas of our old site was the location-specific landing pages; these pages were currently ranking well organically as well as offering high relevance scores for our Google Adwords campaigns (PPC).

Armin – People expect websites to load instantly. Content like images and videos can dramatically increase page load time. Over the years, multiple designers and developers had modified sections of the website, and the build wasn’t as fast as it could have been.

What were the significant changes you made visually?

James O – Visually, it was things like content spacing, brand consistency and our portfolio format. We reduced the use of overwhelming colour and made our portfolio work the focus. Changes like that have streamlined and modernised our site, which improved the aesthetic and allowed our work to shine.

Armin – Hi-res images were recreated exported at a high quality but a smaller file size, using next-generation image formats (.WEBP files). We also re-optimised all the assets, redrew all the icons and added other forms of media, such as GIFs and video.

What were the significant changes you made to the content?

James W – Google likes fresh content, so we rewrote most of the text. We also added FAQ’s sections to make the site more informative to visitors.

Armin – RA has grown and expanded our areas of expertise, our new site needed to showcase this. We added additional examples and disciplines to our portfolio, which needed new copy; this is an ongoing process which we’ll continuously update as new projects are completed.

How did you improve the user experience on the new website?

James O – We produced extensive site maps with multiple routes of communication to help with site navigation.

Armin – Speed was a big one! With the internet being faster and the increasing expectations of having a faster website, the old site didn’t meet the current expectations. By significantly improving the speed of the site, we enhanced the overall user experience.

Is there anything you learnt from the RA website redesign that you will use on client’s projects?

James W – We worked closely with an SEO specialist throughout the redesign process, from planning to aftercare… which meant we picked up a fair few tricks that we can share and translate into website work for our clients. Also, we now use the next generation of image formats (WEBP images rather than JPEG).

Armin – Calls to action at strategic points throughout the site have been a really important element and are now working extremely well for us. We always make sure that our clients benefit from our knowledge and experience and this will form a key part of the content for any new sites we create and build.

So, there you have it… you’ve heard from our designers and seen how our new website has been carefully restored, repaired and renewed. If you’d like us to perform a little DIY SOS on your site, with lots of much needed TLC, just let us know, we’d love to help.