Ester has designed a distinct and authentic brand identity for a provider of residential and commercial clean energy financing and home improvement and helped to create accessible and responsive apps that are easy to use within any media.
The main goal of the project was to develop a highly personalised visual language, comprehensive visual representation of the client’s mission and clear brand identity, to make the existing website more user-friendly and add useful elements that can help to increase the conversion rate. Consequently, one of the main objectives was to gain a balance between the website’s usability and profitability.
To achieve that Ester worked closely on the project with the client’s tech, marketing, and business teams, constantly receiving useful and valuable feedback. At the beginning of the project, the client only had a basic visual representation: the colour scheme they wanted to work with and a general idea of what they wanted to see as a result. Coherent brand identity and practical tools (for example, a Prequalification App that checks the property’s eligibility of financing) were at their nascent stages of development, so the advancement of those two aspects became the first significant step on our way to creating a cohesive identity system and enhancing uninterrupted operability.
Inspired by the simplicity of nature and using a variety of visual storytelling tools, Ester created custom illustrations serving a wide range of purposes – from small icons used in mailouts and blog posts to illustrations used through different communication channels providing a more useful and enjoyable user experience, while making the client seem like a mature and established organisation.
Following the successful application of a basic visual structure, together with the client, we developed a set of principles regarding the use of photos versus illustrations depending on their communicative purposes. Designing a coherent and transparent visual identity is impossible without setting up a platform’s basic tone which was accomplished, namely, by selecting primary and secondary colours, as well as by creating the easy-to-follow typography guides that prioritise readability. The results of all those efforts gradually grew into a fully-developed brand book. We took into account every little detail regarding possible cultural differences between people from various areas, and custom made illustrations in a way that fits a particular target audience.
After establishing and implementing a clear and effective brand identity, Ester proceeded to improve the client’s existing tools and started working on the optimisation of the client’s Prequalification App. This app checks the property’s eligibility to get financed for home improvement and determines a prequalified amount of financing. Since the product had already been created and was operating, Ester developed it further by adding a stepper that shows the number of accomplished tasks, making the UI more user-friendly and utilising customised illustrations and a newly developed visual style. Illustrating this point, statistics show that the simplified version of the app increased the success rate and the number of clients who followed through with application tasks, which, all in all, indicated successful completion of our initial goals.
However, both teams – the client’s and ours – decided against stopping there and took a further step to ensure a wider reach of users and customers. This led to the creation of a Homeowner Portal – a web app that helps homeowners manage their home improvement financing managed by the client. Users can create their profiles, check the status of their financing, calculate the pre-qualified amount and navigate their way through applications, projects and payments. Another web app – Contractor Portal – became a logical extension of the Homeowners Portal. The Contractors Portal facilitates the process of creating and managing financing projects for the registered contractors. More specifically, this solution includes a Proposal Tool which is used to introduce various financing options to the homeowners, assessing their potential savings and checking the amortisation schedule. Naturally, giving complex and often confusing information about loans and cost breakdowns in an engaging and captivating manner is challenging, but Ester managed to do it using different tools, diagrams and flow charts that provide visualisation and make the user experience more entertaining.
The Contractors Portal facilitates the process of creating and managing financing projects for the registered contractors.
More specifically, this solution includes a Proposal Tool which is used to introduce various financing options to the homeowners, assessing their potential savings and checking the amortization schedule. Naturally, giving complex and often confusing information about loans and cost breakdowns in an engaging and captivating manner is challenging, but Ester managed to do it using different tools, diagrams and flow charts that provide visualization and make the user experience more entertaining.
Lastly, along with the two web apps, Ester created and properly tested their custom-built mobile versions. Developed primarily as a means for expanding the brand’s presence and its scope of usage, mobile versions enable users to get acquainted with the same tools, presented via the web app, owing to the responsive design and skilful conversion of web-based solutions into mobile apps. Users can choose the media in which they would like to engage with the client, depending on their preferences, which makes the whole process more inclusive.
The updated brand identity echoes the client’s main purpose – supporting home improvement financing using clean and renewable energy resources. It mainly features two colours – green and white – that are applied across the website and mobile apps to support consistency and relatability. The challenge of making everyone feel included was overcome by over stylisation and simplification applied to faces featured both in marketing and product illustrations (thus “humanising” the user experience). This ensures that the visual language that was created by us is distinctive and recognisable while remaining simple and monochromatic. Here at Ester, we believe that the brand’s new visual representation and incorporated tools will reflect the client’s desire to promote clean energy resources and environmental awareness.