Noticed anything different about our homepage?
If you visited our homepage recently, you may have noticed a few changes. Can't pinpoint what they are? Here is an insider’s guide as to what’s so special about Console’s new homepage.
1. You’ve come a long way, baby.
Our website is *completely* different to what you saw 12 months ago.
We got rid of the cringe-worthy stock imagery.
Prior to launching a completely new website in August 2018, Console’s homepage was not something we were particularly proud of. It didn’t say much about our software (or even use the word software), and featured a cringe-inducing stock image of European models wearing plaid shirts. It looked something like this.
The new website was a big improvement. It talked about our actual software, and used the words ‘property management software’.
And then we got rid of the bland stock illustrations.
But none of the new imagery on the site was particularly personable. We relied too heavily on faceless suits and icons, and pictures of houses. These images reflected neither the software itself, nor the real estate professionals that use it (suits and ties? But roughly 70% of our customer base is female… ). And it didn’t reflect the people that build our software either.
Take this section, for example:
Without reading the text, our website could easily have been for a bank or mortgage broker firm, and nobody would have been able to tell the difference. It was, to put it bluntly, kind of generic.
Now, we have hand-made illustrations.
So we custom-designed a brand new set of illustrations and animations from scratch. These new illustrations were created to show rather than tell what our software does, and to express something about the kind of company Console is these days.
Take this one for example—we think it’s much clearer at explaining that we have advanced trust accounting features in Console Cloud, but it’s simpler than ever to use.
2. The illustrated woman has a name.
As part of the new illustration suite, we introduced a couple of characters of our own. The one you may have noticed in our new homepage and video, is this flame-haired woman:
Dressed like a developer, but using Console Cloud like a property manager, this character bridges the gap between those who make our software, and those who use it. So allow us to officially introduce her to you. Her name is Chloe.
3. Speaking of illustrations, the little dog following Chloe around has a name too.
Yes, the dog also has a name, and it is Doris. She’s modelled off our graphic designer’s own much-loved pooch. Doris was smuggled into Console’s new homepage early on in the design phase, and quickly became a crowd favourite.
She made it all the way through the process to our live site because… well, she’s kind of adorable and makes us smile. We hope she’ll bring a smile to our customers, too.
But if you thought animated Doris was cute, wait until you meet the real-life version. We give you the original puppy, Doris:
… You’re welcome.
4. Console’s new homepage has its own subtle signature.
It looks pretty, but you may not know that the diagonal and wave-form separator (pictured here) with a colour gradient in it is also completely unique to us. Because nothing quite like it existed, it had to be custom-built for our site. And that’s why it’s become our website’s subtle signature—a little flair that belongs to us alone.
6. We used the voices of people who actually work at Console
If you watched our homepage video, you’ll notice that we have a number of different voices narrating it. They’re all voiced by people who actually work at Console. On that note, a special thanks to James Stone (Head of HR), Tusitha Jayatunge (Console Cloud), and Emma Clarke (Service Specialist) for their voice acting skills.
7. We ditched capital letters in our headings.
We researched best capitalisation practices on websites and came to the conclusion that Capitalising A Whole Bunch Without A Good Reason Was As Good A Reason As Any Not To Capitalise Anything Much At All.
Capitalising words just because they sounded or seemed important struck us as a bit pretentious. The rules of capitalisation are constantly in flux, but the general trend over the last fifty years has been towards using less and less of them. And we liked the relaxed simplicity of no capitals—so that’s what we went with.
At this stage, we’ve only updated our homepage to reflect this new direction and style. But keep your eyes peeled! We’ll be updating the rest of our website soon.
Wondering what to read next in the meantime? Here are our predictions for the future of email and letters, or learn about the five qualities of highly effective software migrations.