User experience design for Taylor Maxwell
Putting user experience at the forefront of Taylor Maxwell’s digital experience.
One of the UK’s leading suppliers of facade and timber products to the construction industry, Taylor Maxwell provides the building blocks for better communities and enhances the built environment.
Working with them previously on their brochure designs and launching their new Craft website back in 2017, as one of our client partners, they started a new project with us in early 2021, to kick off the redesign and build of their website to be even more user-friendly and audience-focused.
The previous website was planned for Facades with an entirely different audience to Timber, which had been added to the site as a middle ground at a later date. Their broad audience meant the new website needed to work extra hard for customers across different industries.
UX & IA
The entire site was rearchitected to fully submerse Timber and create a strong presence for the group as a whole. This included differentiating areas of the site by rebranding colours for Facades and Timber to create clear waymarkers. The product pages were designed to work for different audiences too—those that were more visual (i.e. Architects) inspired by photography and those that were more technical (i.e. Timber Procurement) needing details on product specifics.
That meant that Facades and Timber could sit side by side aesthetically as well as informatively for different personas and user groups, with their own “hubs.” The new user journeys give control to the users with clear call-to-actions that actively help guide them through the site with fewer clicks to the information they need. The outcome is a journey that whilst separate remains unified—maintaining the overarching group brand as an anchor.
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Making more impressions and introducing a wider keyword offering to boost organic audience acquisition.
Whilst Taylor Maxwell was found through organic search, there were a lot of opportunities to grow their audience and rank higher for broader and more niche keyword terms. We worked with them on their SEO strategy, deeply understanding how they were found (predominately through Facades-related terms) and introducing new terms for Timber as well as more general keywords for the group as a whole.
This allowed us to create a comprehensive list of primary and secondary keywords in order to implement a strategy across core and product pages in order to boost rank and ensure Taylor Maxwell was more easily found, alongside a protection strategy to meet their existing traffic levels. In doing this, it highlighted keyword terms and popular phrases for searches that would have otherwise been overlooked. This gave way to the introduction of the resource page, expanding products such as Composite Decking and renaming products to suit search intent.
We take a content-first approach to design but we were able to begin reworking the Taylor Maxwell component library, designing the mega nav based on our sitemap and SEO and ensuring that the initial concept was brand-centric. The web design didn’t shift too far from the previous to keep the flow recognisable to the user, however, new components were introduced such as the ‘how can we help’ search functionality.
We introduced more image-led pages for architects and clearly demonstrated services for the likes of contractors, manufacturers and merchants. It’s been a great working partnership for design, as the client understood the components and pages they wanted, which made the project very collaborative, as the marketing team is educated on Craft having used it since 2017.
As the website was already built in our Craft CMS set-up, we were able to remove our previous code and build upon the site's foundations with our new frontend build system, reorganising how fields and relationships linked so that they worked harder and faster for content managers with the introduction of Timber. Alongside the reorganisation of the backend, this created a seamless transition for content managers to go from the old website to the new in their way of working, meaning that no further Craft training was needed. As the set-up was 5 years old, we were able to incorporate new learnings and technology from a smoother and faster front-end website.
The website itself — largely due to its audience type — is image-heavy which can often cause optimisation issues and slow page load speeds. We counter-acted this with a caching and content delivery network to rapidly load hundreds of images on both desktop and mobile. This also allows us to use our CDN to decouple the image process away from the web server. It’s a vast website that is hugely dynamic based on the amount of content there is and aside from the aesthetic and speed, it was key that its cms-ability was prevalent and that the Taylor Maxwell marketing team could make quick changes with ease across the site and its range of components.
Abstrakt are always interested to understand more about our business and keen to find ways to help drive us forward. Our new website now works for all of our different customers thanks to their thoughtful and strategic design and development.
Bethany Ralfs - Marketing Manager - Taylor Maxwell