Responses by Ben McNutt, chief creative officer and associate partner, Butchershop.
Background: When the team behind global health innovation company Real Chemistry (formerly known as W2O Group) approached Butchershop to grow its brand and digital experience, we knew we’d conduct more than just a simple rebrand of the organization. We transformed a network of more than thirteen brands and products into one company with a singular mission: to create better health outcomes for all, a major departure for the healthcare communication industry. Real Chemistry’s digital experience needed to signal that shift while communicating the singularity of focus through a massive global scale of brands, products, services and technologies. We approached the site intending to keep it simple yet effective, so Real Chemistry can do what it does best: show up and shape the future.
Design core: The name Real Chemistry says it all when it comes to design inspiration, reflecting how it brings unlikely combinations of people, ideas and innovations into a fluid state. Data and science converge with creativity and storytelling in a nonlinear way. The digital design language, site content and features reflect that expression. Our designers turned to nature, studying bodies of water and the way light reflects on them for inspiration in creating organic movement on the site. We used video techniques, transitions, motion graphics and illustration to blur the human and the scientific. We also included key features such as modular drawer systems that expand and contract, enabling users to scan top-line information or dive deeper into the details.
Challenges: Balancing scale was a primary challenge of our efforts with Real Chemistry. It’s a huge global company with a remarkable focus and mission. We had to be relentless about not overdesigning while still conveying the organization’s reach and magnitude. We were selective about each piece of content, making sure each component punched well above its weight.
We also needed to approach the design system with future scaling in mind. Real Chemistry is not done growing or evolving as a company. The design system needed to feel unique to Real Chemistry, free of the tired tropes of healthcare marketing while remaining scalable as it grows and adapts.
Navigation structure: Like all aspects of the site, we took a user-first approach to the navigation. It needed to pass the scannability test and check typical boxes for what chief marketing officers look for in a partner while reflecting the new Real Chemistry position and business design. Using our modular system design, mega navigation scales to multiple subnavigations or a single one while functioning within the same design system. Navigation can often feel disconnected to accommodate function, yet Real Chemistry’s navigation is a true reflection of the design system. Consistency across the board as a design principle creates trust with the user.