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MBO Partners corners the consultant market with its new website

Posted by Andrew Buckon September 11, 2015

How do you design a website that engages two distinct audiences equally?

The Challenge

MBO Partners is the “leading provider of solutions that empower the independent workforce,” which means they work with both enterprise-level companies (which need professional, independent contractors) and individuals (the contractors themselves). MBO provides companies with tools to find and manage independent professionals, and freelancers with software, expertise, and applications they need to grow their business.

These two audiences arrive at with very different purposes––and from very different sources. As such, a new website should be architected to treat each audience uniquely from the start, driving them toward relevant information. And it should highlight their software products more prominently.

But technical hiccups were also affecting the old MBO website:

  • Page-load times sometimes exceeded 20 seconds (about 20x too long)
  • Outdated and broken links were slowing performance and hurting MBO’s credibility
  • Google Analytics wasn’t fully integrated
  • No SEO strategy suppressed MBO’s presence in search results
  • Over-engineered CMS that made managing the site a tiring chore

And finally, Father Time was tapping his watch: The new website, from hoof to snout, would need to launch in three months––about half the time normally recommended for a project so large.

The Solution

First, we discovered––during the project phase fittingly titled “Discovery”––that MBO Partners’ two audiences aren’t using the website in quite the same way.

While engaging with large corporations is critical to MBO’s overall success, it doesn’t happen primarily online. Enterprise companies looking to hire MBO need to speak with a specialist quickly. In other words, the new website, try as it might, won’t address their all of their needs. But it can direct them to someone who can in a single mouse click.

So our User Experience gurus and Information Architects crafted two custom experiences on for each primary audience. From the homepage, the paths diverge. The company path quickly gets the user on the phone with MBO, while the individual path employs more explanation, interactive tools, and educational resources.

For independent workers, trusting MBO is crucial. That’s why we began by ensuring the site is built on clean code, is integrated with a simple-to-manage CMS, is fully mobile-responsive, and loads quickly. Broken links can leave a sour taste in a user’s mouth––enough to send them off to a competitors’ website. The new site is buttoned up and technically seamless.

And what of the new site’s visual design? We kept the “open” and “airy” approach of the old website, while making strategic changes to individual page layouts and content chunks.

This was one of our first projects (of a growing number) to use a “scroll blocker” design element. The challenge is that some websites are laid out so severely, with sharp horizontal lines, that users don’t scroll down the page––because they don’t know they can! They stop scrolling. To do this, we used some angular, “swooshy” design elements, drawn from MBO’s trademark, to let people know there’s more webpage to scroll.

In fact, MBO liked our visuals so much, the company is using them as the basis for other marketing campaigns, both online and off-.

The Verdict

We love this website, and we’re honored to have partnered with MBO to put it together––discovery, architecture, visual design, content strategy, training, testing, and launch––in record time. It’s a sleek, inviting, and resource-rich website that reinforces MBO’s reputation as the industry leader in supporting the independent workforce. What a great company, what a delightful website.

In Their Words

“Thank you and your team for doing a fantastic job delivering us a great website, on time, on budget, and with a lot of productive collaboration. You have a strong team and we look forward to a long a productive relationship.”

––Gene Zaino - CEO, MBO Partners

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