At 3X Software we have more years of experience than we’d like to admit in software development. But with a large portfolio of clients in development, web design and e-commerce it hasn’t always left us a lot of time to work on the look and experience of our own website! It’s been the job at the bottom of the list for almost 10 years!!!
But finally we have our beautiful new website! Here’s how we did it.
At the end of last year M-Sparc in Gaerwen launched their Skills Academy scheme to place people in North Wales looking for work in digital and technology sectors in local businesses who could give them an opportunity to practice and hone their skills. 3X Software Ltd were lucky to be able to take 2 skills academy applicants: Graham Scott-Taylor and Sarah Boyle who could work on our graphic design and marketing respectively. Here was the chance for us to have some dedicated staff working on our website with a fresh outside perspective!
Graham completed a course in Graphic Design at Manchester Metropolitan University and has run his own business in the UK and the USA since 1996, having lived in the US for over 14 years. His areas of expertise are graphic design and professional photography as well as logo design and website development.
After being put in touch with 3X by the Skills Academy Graham has been working using his graphic design skills and experience to refresh both the logo and branding for the business in order to present a clear image of what the company does.
About Sarah our Digital Marketer
Sarah is a self-taught digital marketer who started out experimenting with marketing and copywriting in her own businesses. After deciding she wanted to pursue a career in digital marketing she applied for the skills academy so she could gain some industry experience and was placed with us at 3X Software.
Sarah has been able to get to grips with all the technological jargon we use and has helped us make sure that we’re communicating effectively with our potential clients in a way that they understand. As well as ensuring our website content is all relevant and concise she’s been helping us get to grips with our digital marketing strategy.
What They Did:
While Graham worked on the look and feel, Sarah tackled the content. Essentially there were three main tasks that needed to be tackled in order to achieve our vision of a simpler sleeker website that can help us to attract new clients and demonstrate our expertise.
As our company was founded in 1984 and our website was long due a refresh there was a lot of content that wasn’t applicable any more.
1. New Logo
The brief for Graham was to streamline the existing recognisable 3X logo, cleaning it up and removing anything that was added from the company merger with Karova.
Before deciding on the final version Graham decided to develop a few completely new versions to test out. Most were a clear departure from the existing style but in the end the 3X team decided they wanted a subtle change which led him back to the original. The golden rule of logo design; clients don’t know what they want but they always know what they don’t want.
So Graham got to work improving the existing design in both colour and styling to give it a more modern sleek look. He experimented with variants on the logo with dots and without and ultimately settled on a simple blue with white outline complemented by red in the website theme a subtle but definite improvement.
2. New Website Design and Combining Domains
Although we’re under one business we actually have a lot of expertise in different areas so we previously had 4 different websites for our different services and offerings. Our main 3xsoftware.co.uk dedicated to our general expertise in software development, 3xsw which focussed on our IBM RPG skills, a sub-domain for our plugins and a dedicated Postcodes4U website for our address lookup service.
It made sense to keep Postcodes4U and our e-commerce plugin sites separate but the other 2 could easily be combined into one central website that showed all of our software development expertise in one place demonstrating the breadth of our skills.
Graham got to work redesigning the website using WordPress and Divi with our new logo and theme while Sarah and Karen our director got to work on the content and structure. It was also a chance to make sure our website was also optimised for mobile sites.
3. Content Refresh
A lot of the content on our websites needed refining, editing or throwing away! Our website definitely collected a lot of extra content that we weren’t using anymore in the 10 years we’ve been attempting our website refresh. Sarah went through the content with a fine toothed comb and got to work understanding and translating all the techie jargon us software developers are so used to using!
The result is a clear structure that describes our services in a way that’s easy to understand. Although we’re able to undertake complex software development tasks our clients need to be able to understand what we can help them with.
What do you think of our new look?