Helping turn the page on Debt
BDO Debt Solutions is a consumer division of BDO National that offers debt consultation, consumer proposals or bankruptcy services. The focus of this website is primarily on helping clients become financially literate by offering interactive debt calculators, tools, advice as well as a way to find BDO Debt Solutions locations and connect directly with their clients.
At the time we started working on this project, the BDO Debt Solutions website was made with WordPress and was relying on 3rd party plugins to accomplish its needs. The website performance was slow (over 8 second load time on most pages) and the use of plugins made the website difficult for BDO content editors to manage. The design of the website was also in need of a major refresh. It mirrored the look and feel of the BDO National B2B website and did not translate to the BDO Debt Solutions audience.
We created this project to resolve all these issues and to align with the vision BDO Debt Solutions has for its future. Challenges for this project included designing the website to reflect the audience it was created for as well as developing a solution within Kentico Xperience that would be easy to manage and expand on the functionality and performance of the previous site.
Goals & Objectives
- Update the look and feel of the website with a completely new design that appropriately reflects the users of the website
- Build a solution that is easy to manage with an easy-to-use robust content management system that does not rely on third party plugins
- Improve the overall performance of the website
Design needed to reflect the consumer focus and the audience of people in need of debt solutions while sticking to the corporate BDO branding.
There were a lot of plugins used on the old WordPress site that needed to be built as custom widgets in the new site.
Widgets needed to be designed and developed in a way that allowed maximum flexibility for content editors to use them in a variety of was for different layouts throughout the site.
Scope of Work
We followed our six-step methodology. Starting with the information gathering stage where we reviewed existing documentation, pain points and did an audit of the current site. The research and analysis phase involved a review of google analytics, comparable websites and UX (User eXperience) research. At the end of this phase, we developed Personas for the website.
The design of this website is specific to the BDO Debt Solutions personas. Persona research revealed that visitors to the website are often overwhelmed and are in an emotional state because they are reaching out as a last resort to overcome financial struggles. The research also showed that debt is universal in that the demographics of this site were across the board, and we could not design for any one type of audience.
With this in mind, we spent a lot of time expanding the BDO colour scheme and overall brand to brighten up the website. Particular care was taken to photography, and we used softer, rounder graphic design approach to make the site feel welcoming. We also made the website as simple to digest as possible by presenting the information architecture in a way that goes from general to specific so we could nurture the customer journey without having a complex menu system or irrelevant options presented to the user. In addition, whitespace was used throughout the site to make the site feel organized and not overwhelming to the eye.
Focus groups revealed that with older visitors there was some confusion about whether to scroll down on the pages, so we included an arrow animation and a graphical element to lead the eye down the page without distracting away from the content.
The Page builder was used extensively for this project. We built a combination of customized widgets and page types to allow content editors to maximum flexibility in designing pages with dynamic content. We developed user interface widgets: accordion, tabs, image slider, image CTA, Image with text drawers, Reviews, CTA as well as repeating feed widgets and galleries. For widgets that connected to structured data we built corresponding page types.
We used custom tables extensively on this project as well. We imported over 140 office locations and office details into tables and then connected that data with an interactive map that geocoded latitudes and longitudes. These locations became page types once in the system and easy for content editors to adjust after.
Similarly, we imported all BDO Debt Solutions staff into custom tables to the system and created page types for content editors to administer after.
Custom tables we are also used to contain filters for advanced search on the “People” and “Advice” pages. The website features a tagging system that allows content editors to tag people to locations to aid in finding relevant information for users trying to find their local BDO office and connect with a representative.
For BDO Debt Solutions a web site relaunch was a critical next step for our business: a modern, mobile-friendly web site, optimized for conversion was a must. Working with Inorbital on the Kentico platform helped us achieve these goals, and more. The team at Inorbital worked with us from design to launch, and were fantastic partners in the process, helping us deliver on schedule and on budget, with a high quality result that will help us move our business forward. The Kentico platform was a key element to our success – it made working on the web site under very tight deadlines a streamlined and easy process. It was incredibly fast and simple to use, and with Inorbital’s development expertise, Kentico provided the features and performance we needed on both the front and back end. We are thrilled with the final site.
The website has been an overwhelming success. Site page speed on the homepage has gone from 8 seconds to less than 2 seconds. Content editors are delighted with how the website is structured and how content is managed in a consistent and efficient way. The ease of use of the CMS is on full display when viewing the website and noticing the attention to detail that is pervasive throughout the pages, content editors have built with the page builder and widgets.
The design of the website is getting overwhelming positive feedback. Words like “approachable,” “friendly,” “professional,” “clean” and “trustworthy” are being used to describe the look and feel of the site. These are the same words BDO Debt Solutions personas used to describe what they want the website to communicate.
The new website was awarded Kentico Site of the month and scored almost perfect straight A’s with webpagetest.org.
The new BDO Debt Solutions website was built with best in-class Kentico CMS which was recently rebranded to Xperience DXP (Digital Experience Platform). The new website features an innovative design, added functionality and an information architecture that is all custom suited to the site’s various personas.