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Responses by Frazer Sparham, UI/UX Designer, Parallax

Background: The purpose of the website redesign was to position the Leeds and Liverpool, United Kingdom–based IconInc as a high-end student accommodation that puts its students first. The content on the site, which highlights the premium quality of the IconInc rooms, directly engages with its student community through the use of blogs, events and a social wall.

Highlights: The new and improved booking system. We broke this process down, looking at how students book their accommodations, and created an intuitive and elegant booking flow, which improved customer usability and led to an increase in the number of reservations. The results have helped more local and international students in finding the right apartment for their stays.

Challenges: Keeping the site lightweight while showing off the high definition imagery of each location and apartment, as the focus on photography helped show off the company’s offerings. For this, we used responsive image techniques to serve scaled images based on the size of the user’s device.

Navigational structure: We needed to emphasize two key areas: locations and community, which funnel down to show all the apartments, galleries and 360 tours on a per-location basis. Then the community area created a hub for students and engaged with them through the social wall that was pulled in from walls.io, blogs and events.

Technical features: With a large percentage of IconInc users accessing the site through mobile devices, we used responsive image techniques to serve scaled images based on the size of the users’ devices. “Lazy loading” images were both essential for faster page load times and increasing user engagement. We also used Bram Stein’s Font Face Observer (on GitHub) to apply fonts once they have loaded. Until fonts load, fallback fonts are used, avoiding a “flash of invisible text.”

iconinc.co.uk

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