When you receive a brief from a client that states ‘we don’t want our new website to look like anyone else’s’, you know it’s going to be a peach of a job!
The London estate agent Kay & Co came to us at the planning stages of a massive brand overhaul. It saw a new website as an integral part of its revamped look, and as a virtual shop front it had to embody the agency’s desire to be a big player in the London property market.
When you log on to http://kayandco.com/, you’ll immediately notice the homepage is largely monochrome. Kay & Co has gone down a very sophisticated route and we’ve run with that notion online. Everything has been pulled right back, with just the golden accent colour of Kay & Co breaking up the muted shades of grey and black.
“We wanted the website to look like a coffee table book, so that’s why many of the images are black and white,” says Starberry’s Ben Sellers. “Even the rotating colour images on the home page have been given a ‘gauze-effect’ filter to pare them back. The monochrome style gives the site a premium, high-quality feel that reflects the type of properties Kay & Co handles. It’s refreshing that an estate agent has run with a black backdrop instead of white but it’s this decision that sets the Kay & Co website apart from its competitors,” says Ben.
Although all the trademark (and now award-winning!) Starberry functions have been incorporated into the new Kay & Co website – dynamically-changing mortgage calculators; area guides and news stories that not only inform but also increase on-page SEO; light-box pop-up data capture forms that keep users on the website; mega menus that help users find content quickly; a language translation facility and social media share buttons when viewing full property details – there are some clever design tweaks that helps Kay & Co stand out in a crowded market place.
For instance, property search results are displayed in a 3 by 3 grid format (although you can change to a list view with a single click); a Java script property search and refine tab appears as a constant on the right-hand side of the page, and an ‘enlarge image’ function allows users to view property images in all their beauty (look out for the arrows icon on the bottom right hand corner of images).
“We’ve been able to indulge our creative side while working with Kay & Co,” continues Ben. “Being able to include little design touches makes a big overall difference. You’ll notice that all the golden orange text is either a clickable link or a call to action – it draws the users’ eye to the most important functions. All the non-property images were commissioned especially for the website and continue the monochrome look. We took some of the pictures and created striking montages for the corporate areas of the website – they lend a very ‘lifestyle’ feel, said Ben.”
For the first time Starberry has also created a news section with filters. The initial view is by appearance date but you can also sort the news by type of media (newspaper, television etc) or by the publication/channel (Daily Mail, CityAM etc).
Ben concludes by saying: “We didn’t want to put style over substances but our team have created a sophisticated and functional website. It doesn’t feel contrived or fudged – instead we’ve used subtle ways of improving Kay & Co’s Google ranking – like teaser pieces of text followed by a ‘read more’ option, strong H1 titles and internal linking – but the aesthetics are still markedly different from anything else around in estate agency.”
If you’re thinking of revamping your website, contact us now.