Case Study

Merlys Consulting

Web Design & Web Development

Overview

This project required a brand new website, both design and development. Merlys already had a professionally designed logo, however they had no defined branding elements so in addition to the new website, we created an effective colour scheme and typeface combination that reflected their experience and target demographic.

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The Context

Merlys Consulting was founded by industry expert Verena Charvet, providing consultancy advice and support in the fields of financial regulation, compliance, strategy and risk management. They mainly operate in the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, Europe and Asia.

Merlys were referred to us by a mutual connection. Although they have extensive experience and are extremely well respected in the industry the business was relatively new. Due to this experience, it’s no great surprise that the business got very busy very quickly. During the initial couple of years, they did not have a website at all. However, it became obvious they needed a serious online presence and after ruling out spending the time doing it themselves, they approached our mutual contact who put us forward and the rest, as they say, is history.

The Challenge

We were provided with quite an extensive brief, right at the very beginning of the project, which is quite unusual, but it gave us some genuine insight into the current thinking going into the initial discovery process.

During the discovery process, both Charles and Verena were keen to make sure that the website clearly got across their professional nature, expertise and experience without being ‘samey’. They felt that a lot of existing websites for financial consultants lacked personality and were very similar. They were open to a design that felt more modern and bold, without compromising the flow of the site, so visitors were able to get the information they needed quickly and easily.

This was all music to our ears, a client with extensive experience who didn’t want a ‘cookie cutter’ approach. They really appreciated the benefit in having a unique, bespoke and well crafted solution.

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The Process

Following the Discovery process, before the website design started, we put together a range of colour scheme and typeface options and sent it to Charles and Verena as a PDF. As mentioned, it was important that it felt professional, trustworthy whilst at the same time, literally injecting some life and colour into the end result.

We then booked a call with them to go through our thinking. It’s not very helpful to a client to send a document to them without taking the time to go through why you have chosen them!

We settled on a vibrant blue combination with the Merriweather typeface for all headings and Open Sans for the body text.

Imagery was a key part of the feel of the website. A bespoke angled graphic was to feature prominently throughout the site, which functioned as both a frame for the imagery but also as a divider between sections. It gives visitors a subtle ‘pinball machine’ effect as it guides them down the page.

It was felt that, as touched on previously, that the majority of websites in this industry used the same old stock photography, which wouldn’t fit into our brief of being a bit more up to date and unique. We spent quite a bit of time, going through numerous changes, to find the right images to compliment the feel we were trying to create. It was worth the effort to do so, we really believe that details like this matter.

Through our sister company, Torble Photo, we also sent one of our photography team to London to create new headshots for both Charles and Verena to sit on the About Us page. It also gave them images they can use on their LinkedIn profiles and supply to media when it’s needed.

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The Future

We’ve found that pretty much all of our clients (I can’t think of anyone off the top of my head who hasn’t) want us to be involved in the hosting and maintenance of their website going forward and this was the case with this project also. We host the website on a permanently monitored, super fast VPS (virtual private server), with SSL as standard. We do not, and will never host client websites on a shared hosting platforms. We also take care of regular backups on their behalf, so they don’t need to spend time worrying about it.

All of the plugins and WordPress itself is kept regularly up to date as well, which is critically important from a security standpoint.

It’s important to us that delivery of the website is not the end of our relationship and we’ve found that clients really value having a go-to expert available that knows their website (because we built it!) inside out.

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