Responses by Mad River.
Background: When you are busy making incredible things happen for your amazing clients, it can be easy to put projects for yourself on the back burner. We wanted to create a website with a true brand voice that mirrored our values and ethos. We didn’t want something bland; that’s not who we are! We are a bunch of adventurers: creatives who are always growing outside our comfort zone. We wanted a site that would provide a client showcase as well and for use as a recruitment tool.
We are passionate about what we do, as well as about rewarding talent and hard work. We wanted a website that showcased everything we do for, and with, our team, including outdoor adventures, our exclusive client and team beach hut and our reward scheme. We wanted to show the perks of being part of Mad River.
Navigation structure: To get into the details, we wanted to create a clean user journey that was easy not only to navigate but that led people naturally to relevant content using language that truly reflected our personality. The layouts needed to showcase our strong in-house illustration skillset, which we used to create and transport visitors to the landscapes of Mad River.
Design core: Our brand is inspired by Mad River in Vermont, a place we were so drawn to we named our business after it! For us, Mad River is a place, but it’s also an aspirational mindset steeped in Americana. We wanted that feeling of the outdoors and adventure to shine through. Founder Simon Gates created the illustrations over a period of three months. We felt they were important to set us apart; we could have gone with a typical photographic approach, but we wanted to create more of a distinctive feeling and aesthetic.
The language we used needed to express our culture and openness, communicating our adventurous spirit both in and out of the studio. It was also important that we showed how we apply this mindset to explore new territory; ensuring we are always growing as a business and as people too.
Challenges: After surveying and analyzing the visitor landscape, we realized we would need to work extra hard to ensure the site presented well across all screen sizes. We built in more than the average amount of major and minor breakpoints across all components to maintain the integrity of the layouts. In addition, we used dynamic navigation on some pages to enhance the user experience.
Response: We launched the website in mid-January, and feedback from clients has been fantastic, with one stating: “Super cool and love the illustrations—confident, creative but down to earth. Very you.” Compared to our old site, we have seen a 526 percent increase in page views and a 968 percent increase in unique page visitors so far. We have also had a great response from our first job listing.