Design & build | Digital Strategy | Distinction | News

Using data to create great user experiences

Using data to improve accessibility as well as user experience, means that we're continually tailoring our site for our users.

25 May 2017 ( words)
Emma Russell Emma Russell

We use a data first approach to ensure that our users have the best user experience possible.

Since June 2016, when we first unveiled our new redesign, we have been using our site to celebrate the work that we do and showcase the insights we bring to our clients. We cut out the noise and clutter so that it was easy to navigate and the results of our client work took centre stage. When presenting Distinction, we take our users on a journey to help them understand what makes us unique. This guiding principle of creating great user experiences has led to some amazing results and feedback. We continuously look to improve.  

Data-first approach

As an agency, we’re a big believer in using data to inform anything we do, from design and build to marketing. Looking at user data allows us to create brilliant experiences that are based around ensuring the most seamless user experience (UX). And so we decided to implement this same focus for our own site.

Clean UX

In light of the data, we decided to make some changes so we could make the elements that really matter stand out. The images for case studies and our hero images used to require a dark filter so that the white lettering was legible at all times. We felt this made the site quite dark and enclosed. Changing the background to white and making the text black in certain locations has allowed the site and its content to really stand out.

Our case study pages have also changed. Originally designed as background images with logos, a user would need to hover over the case study to see if it was relevant to them. We also found that users weren't sure if these case studies were links to more information or not. When we displayed the text without the need to hover, it transpired that this increased the amount of users reading our case studies.

Our work page after our recent changes.  

We also changed the way we display the client name as it became apparent that just displaying the logo of the organisation created confusion, as users were unaware of which organisation that logo represented, what market the company was in and how this case study could relate to their own work. We now display the name of the organisation in the same format across case studies giving them all better visibility and equal weight.

Furthermore, our thoughts and case study landing pages were originally laid out left to right in rows and the user's eye would have to go in a Z pattern to process the information on the page. Though there is nothing wrong with the Z pattern, during testing we found that users were more engaged and scrolled through more content when the content was displayed in one column, with one story stacked above the other with a simple button at the bottom to view more.

Improving accessibility

Though our site was accessible before our recent changes, we are constantly looking to improve. Our users are at the front of our mind and we are constantly looking to make the user's experience better. This has been partly achieved through cleaning up the site layout but we also found in testing that one of our fonts, Share Tech Mono wasn't as easy to read as our other fonts. So we decided to change that font to Oswald Light, which is fairly similar and still provides the same kind of aesthetic, but the font is much more legible, meaning it's now easier for users to visually process and read.

Our new font, Oswald light is now much more legible.

Watch this space

Using data to improve accessibility as well as user experience,  means that we're continually tailoring our site for our users. We're really happy with this update, but this current iteration will keep evolving based on data and to hit our KPIs and create a better product for our users and for us.


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Emma Russell

Author: Emma Russell