The Challenge

New Horizons is one of the UK’s leading short term loan introducers. They wanted a website refresh as well as a higher conversion rate on their already well optimized website.

Updating the Design

Updating a website that is already performing very well is always risky but the New Horizons website was starting to look and feel dated and the owners of the company wanted a more modern, up to date look and feel. It was vital that this was done carefully, keeping the parts that worked well and using subtle changes to improve the design rather than doing a complete overhaul of the website.

I conducted in-depth research on the existing website using Google Analytics to find where opportunities for improvement were. I also carried out detailed site walkthroughs, a heuristic analysis and a competitor analysis.

This research gave me some ideas for some minor amends but it was clear that the current website was already performing very well and I would have to dig deeper to find opportunities for improvement.

The next stage of research involved carrying out user tests with 10 people in the core demographic of New Horizons visitors. These tests involved each user carrying out a series of tasks that I gave them whilst they spoke out loud to tell me what they were thinking. I also asked the users important questions when they finished their tests to get an overall impression of what they thought about the website.

These tests were very useful and showed me some opportunities for improving the website copy. I gathered all the research I had done and added it to an A/B testing spreadsheet to use in the future. This spreadsheet contained a list of hypotheses based on the research I had done along with metrics to rank each hypothesis in order of importance.

After taking all my research into consideration, these are the designs I produced for a couple of key pages on the website which the team at New Horizons loved.

Once the design was signed off, I made some tweaks to the existing WordPress CMS, making it easier to update key parts of the website. Throughout the whole process, I kept website speed in mind too, and I was able to significantly reduce the load time on the new website.

Ongoing A/B Testing

The benefit of being an industry leader is that you usually have lots of traffic and data to use to run effective A/B tests. This is certainly the case with New Horizons and A/B testing is currently ongoing with some big wins already implemented.

I’m currently making my way through my A/B testing prioritisation spreadsheet and expecting some more big wins an interesting learning opportunities in the next few months.