Our client has worked for over 20 years in the interim recruitment market and really knows his stuff. He came to us with an idea for which there didn't seem to be a good, current solution—we were all ears.
Often contractors and interim workers are not particularly well supported... in many areas. One such area was in successfully obtaining quality references which they could easily collate, manage, and share with new prospective employers. Paramount to the thinking, was the point that contractors should retain ownership of their references, removing the need for them to rely on recruitment agencies to act on their behalf (often with their own agenda in mind).
That was our challenge—to create a platform that enabled these things.
Fortunately, our client was very clear in his vision for the site. He knew his audience well and had already sussed this market gap. We approached the designs quite pragmatically by fully wireframing the site. This revealed the true extent of the project, and it turned out to be larger than we first thought.
Design of the overall identity was respectfully left to us, which is always a compliment from a client. We wanted to create a sense of seriousness, but also represent the dialogue aspect of a reference and leave the user with the feeling that Contractor Reference was user friendly. It was important that the symbol alone would tell the brand story on at least a basic level and if ever it needed to be used alone, would have a good visual impact.
We've already discussed our scoping of this project and how it grew in our minds once we began developing the wireframes. We sometimes find it pans out this way. Wireframes help us, as well as the client, in gauging so many aspects of a project. The wireframes here started off really simple (as shown below). These initial wires did form the basis of the project but were in no way comparable to the depth of what was delivered in the final phase. That's okay though—sometimes it's a journey.
The design scheme in general is built primarily around a colour system that adheres to AA compliance. Choosing a palette that wasn't too noisy, but yet still offered differentiation of areas and information was crucial. We have used colour effectively throughout to guide and instruct.
There was a recurrent need for long, multi-columned forms and tables with multiple-interactions. That's all fine until you consider how that will present on a mobile device. We found it very important to consider how these complex areas of UI could look, to ensure a really decent user experience was achieved.
This project also features a custom CMS. We didn't have to do it, but we felt it was beneficial to our client to have a great experience managing the back end / admin area of his site. He has some manual tasks to perform on a regular basis, such as managing customer accounts and his CM dashboard gives him sight of everything he needs to perform these tasks quickly and easily.
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