Case Study: Guidant Financial

Overview

Since 2003, Guidant Financial helps clients use their retirement funds to realize their dreams of small business ownership. Guidant’s staff is made up of experts who help people finance small businesses and franchises through a full suite of funding solutions, which include SBA loans; unsecured loans; portfolio loans; and equipment leasing, plus 401(k) business financing (also known as Rollovers for Business Start-ups or ROBS).

Challenge and Goals

The website, GuidantFinancial.com, required a performant redesign aligned with a significant content overhaul, and increased focus on signups to Guidant Financial’s client services. The look-and-feel would need to align to a baby boomer audience and to sites in the financial sphere.

Client

Guidant Financial

Project

GuidantFinancial.com redesign

Role

Wireframing
Prototyping
User Interface
Development
Visual Design
Process
Training and documentation

Tools

Illustrator
Photoshop
Wordpress
HTML / CSS / jQuery
Zurb Foundation

The original Guidant Financial site before the redesign.

Site requirements and metrics

Working closely with the Guidant Financial marketing and development teams, key features and technological needs for the site were identified:

  • Reduce overall site load times
  • Prominent focus on signups and calls-to-action to drive engagement
  • A case study library
  • A robust learning center to help users learn more about client services and surface key blog content
  • Ease-of-use for site updates

After identifying site requirements, initial wireframes were developed for the homepage while subpage content was determined.

Selected homepage wireframes.

User interface

From provided content, the homepage was approached with several palette combinations, photography and typography treatments to extend and evolve the brand.

Selected initial palette, photography and typography explorations.

Honed initial palette, photography and typography explorations.

Approved composites

Approved composites were moved into development in WordPress.

Near-final selected pages, with approval for initial buildout

GF customer success stories
GF customer success stories closeup
GF blog
GF blog closeup
GF products
GF products 401k
GF learning center
GF about main

Development & Migration

  • Working with external and internal development teams, the site was staged and built with WordPress on Azure
  • Migration of hundreds of pages and blog posts with focus on SEO
  • Documentation, tutorial and training for marketing team to maintain and update the site

Result

The site launched and received favorable reviews, and has received a steady increase in traffic since launch. Increased site speed has reduced falloff. Additional site metrics will be analyzed to further optimize the user journey.