11th April 2016Case Study - McBrides
By DougBusiness Development Director
By DougBusiness Development Director
"we are extremely pleased with our new website it is fresh, simple, easy to navigate, well laid out and takes people on a clear journey. We have enjoyed working with the Studio44 team who have made the process of developing our new website a pleasure. They took the time to ask questions and think about what our firm needed from our website; were technically able to produce what we wanted and suggest more appealing alternatives where appropriate. We would have no hesitation in recommending them." Nick Paterno, Managing Partner
McBrides is an established firm of chartered accountants and business advisers based in Sidcup, Kent. McBrides has been established for over 40 years and deals mainly with SMEs, owner-managed businesses and other specific sectors such as legal and property. McBrides is very much a people focussed firm with their real strength being a team who have strong credentials, a very broad experience and are very pleasant, easy people to work with.
The key business aims for the new website were to convey the McBrides personality, introduce the McBrides people and a broader range of services and specialisms to demonstrate the wide range of expertise. The new website needed to act as a shop window to win new business and engage with existing clients as well as attract new staff. Our interpretation of these business aims was that we felt there was an opportunity to position McBrides as an approachable, highly knowledgeable and specialist firm through the website – and that was a key focus of ours throughout the project.
We have developed a number of websites in the Financial Services sector recently, including websites for Westleton Drake and Prosperity IFA. This experience helped with developing the McBrides website and below we will describe sections of the website which help McBrides achieve their overall business aims:
Convey McBrides personality
The McBrides personality was described as follows: professional, approachable, knowledgeable, active… a bit different. To demonstrate the first 4 traits, we went very much down the classic modern route of a visual, professional website with simplified content. Large, high quality images and easy website navigation to put the user at ease and give confidence in the firm. Portraying them as ‘a bit different’ was somewhat trickier, but is why we introduced an interesting photo montage at the bottom of the homepage to help the people stand out and offer something a little out of the ordinary. This is a feature we are particularly pleased with as it demonstrates a clear point of difference without compromising the thinking behind the rest of the site.
Introduce the McBrides people
Achieving this goal was somewhat easier. Photographer Matt Harquail took new headshots of all staff to ensure consistency throughout the images. The layout for the people page was designed to give users the ability to easily find a team member by their first name, last name or specialism with Social Media links available for those who had it. We are particularly pleased with the control McBrides have in the CMS to be able to update these profiles and when assigned to a specialism, they automatically appear on the page of that specialism.
Demonstrate the wide range of expertise
To show the wide range of services the McBrides team offer, we created individual specialism pages, such as this one for accounting. There was a lot of information on each individual specialism, and we wanted to show this but didn’t want to overwhelm the user with the amount of visible copy on individual pages, which is why we came up with the idea of a dropdown accordion information viewer. This allows the user to navigate to the area of specialism most relevant to them and easily browse through the content.
Other useful features here are relevant articles to the specialisms in the right hand column, and the already mentioned ‘speak to our experts’ panel. Again, the CMS has been built to manage these specific functions, making life as easy as possible for the website administrators.
Act as a shop window and engage with existing clients
Having the website as a shop window for what McBrides do, again focussed on ease of navigation and clarity of information. To help with engagement, the ‘news’ and ‘intelligence’ hubs were key in showcasing McBrides as thought leaders in what they do to demonstrate credentials to new/prospective clients, and critical in adding extra value to existing clients who want to keep updated with the latest information in the industry.
Overall we were delighted with the end result. The new website looks great, is easy for McBrides to manage and most importantly meets the initial business aims and objectives McBrides set out at the start of the project.