The design we built, and threw away for a good reason.

Jess Erickson

December 14, 2011

Jeannie Nguyen (@omfgjeannie) is a designer for Lexity (@lxty).

What up. Jeannie here, designer at Lexity.

So, you know our current site?

Yeah. Definitely not what we first designed.

We took a couple of months to design and build our new site, and threw it all away at the last minute – building what you can see now at lexity.com.

In fact, we were going to launch with this:

Totally different! So why did we scratch this design after we took a lot of time building it? I’ll start from the beginning.

5 months ago, when I was still an intern, I randomly made a very rough draft of what I thought our site could look like:

I wanted to have a park as a background, which gave Barry (our User Experience Lead) a whole vision of a city. We imagined a whole different world for Lexity, and about a month later from the first mock up, we finally started to create a new design for our site:

We decided to get rid of the bridge, and to focus more on the city. We wanted a friendly tone, bright colors, and really wanted Sophie to drive a car. We wanted a video of Sophie giving a tour of the city which would represent our product. We wanted our images to animate in each slide. So 20 days later, we created a new design, and made what you saw earlier in this post:

One day, we had a copy meeting for our four slides. Barry wrote out the copy on a glass board in large text so we could all clearly read what was on the board.

Suddenly, a new design idea hit me. Big white helvetica. A colored background for contrast. And that’s it. So simple.

But I wondered if it’d be crazy to scratch up all the work we’ve been doing for the past month, and to start over again. To just throw away the time it took to make all the drawings and for Kent (aka our Web Guy) to build all of this. I pitched the idea anyways.

It brought us back to the idea that our company is built on 3 columns: affordability, effectiveness, and simplicity. It made us rethink our site design. Did we really need all the festive colors? Did we really need our pigs to fly and animate? Did we really need Sophie to drive through the city? Then we realized our website design should reflect the third column our company was built on: simplicity.

So we got rid of many colors. We got rid of the animated images for the slides. We got rid of the buildings, the trees, the road, and took away Sophie’s driver’s license. We stripped out many things. Then we came up with the design you currently see on our site:

Simple. : )

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