SurveyGizmo provides powerful online survey software backed by awesome customer support. They have an amazing company culture with an incredible staff of fun, passionate and really helpful people. Sometimes, they even wear capes to remind themselves that their job is to be superheroes to their customers. Looking at their old website, you would never know any of this. The lack of authenticity and personality on their old website was starting to hurt their business. They needed a serious refresh to help bring their culture to life while promoting their enterprise-grade survey software.

Research and discovery through living the culture.

Early on, I knew it was going to be extremely important to understand their company culture. I immersed myself in their world by spending the first few days of the project at SurveyGizmo HQ. By doing so I was able to experience their company culture first-hand and get an inside look at day-to-day life at SurveyGizmo.

The SurveyGizmo team already had a ton of data available including user personas, site analytics, and previous user and A/B tests. I combined their data with my own research to identify opportunities for the future of their website.

A lot less is definitely more

Once I had synthesized the research it was time to start developing the content strategy. I began by auditing and documenting all of the current site content. With the help of the SurveyGizmo team, I was able to identify and eliminate irrelevant content and cut their website page count in half. This helped to minimize the places where a user could get lost and created a more stream-lined and strategic site architecture.

Initial wireframes for the SurveyGizmo website

At the same time, I started an iterative wireframing process. By keeping the wireframes simple I was able to focus on the content and the overall goal of each page without getting bogged down in the details. The wireframes functioned as a sounding board for the project – allowing us to discuss concepts and quickly make revisions when needed.

Explore and discover

From the beginning, the SurveyGizmo team wanted a design that utilized fun and whimsical illustrations to convey the theme of “Explore and Discover.” They also loved the idea of using airships and provided a handful of children's books as inspiration for the site design.

Whiteboard walls after the brainstorming session

This gave us a good foundation to build upon, so the SurveyGizmo team and I hit the white boards for an intense brainstorming session. We talked about all the different types of people that explore and discover, from scientists to adventurers. We also looked at the idea of a gizmo and what that meant in terms of technology. We explored, we discovered and we consolidated all of our ideas into 3 main concepts. For each concept I gathered a variety of illustration styles and references to define the visual themes.

I presented the concepts to the SurveyGizmo team and after some discussion and collaboration, we landed on the concept of “Explore What’s Out There.”

In this concept, the visual theme expanded on the idea of a gizmo and that a series of gizmos could make a robot. With this in mind we wanted to create a playful and whimsical world for the robots to explore and discover.

Robot character concept sketches

Refining the robots

Robots come in all shapes and sizes, so as you can imagine, there were a lot of possibilities when creating the initial illustrations. I sketched a bunch of robots to discuss with the SurveyGizmo team. We determined that the robots should be simple, approachable, fun, professional, whimsical and they shouldn’t feel like a mascot. It was challenging to find the right balance, but eventually we ended up with these little guys.

Final robot character illustration

Bringing it all together

As I was figuring out the illustrations, I began to work on the overall site design. The wireframes & architecture that I created earlier in the project provided a great foundation for the initial design work.

Using the wireframes, I was able to start building a visual language by designing elements of the site instead of full page comps. This saved time and allowed for a lot of flexibility throughout the the project.

Part of the visual language style guide including custom iconography

Once the overall design direction was approved, I moved into a weekly sprint cycle to quickly produce the various page templates for the website. Through weekly in-person working sessions with the SurveyGizmo team I was able to get feedback on the fly and make any revisions quickly and efficiently.

A boost in morale and conversion

At the beginning of the project we set off with the goal of bringing SurveyGizmo’s company culture to life while promoting their enterprise-grade survey software. The new design was literally met with cheers and applause when it was presented to SurveyGizmo’s entire company.

As I looked back on the work I realized that we had done much more than simply refresh their old website. We had revitalized the SurveyGizmo brand. Through the website and illustrations we had created a world all of their own and helped set the SurveyGizmo brand apart from the competition.