Transforming the Digital Brand Experience
The question we faced with Circle Surrogacy was one of our favorites to answer: how do you take such an impactful, purpose-driven brand and business and design an experience that removes all complexity in favor of something simple, welcoming, and delightful? At the time, Circle’s digital experience lacked clarity during the application process and failed to convey the emotional aspect of their work: it didn’t accurately represent the immense passion and care that existed in each member of their team, nor did it showcase the joy of becoming a parent, being a surrogate, or being an egg donor. Take all of that and add in suffering SEO and increased competition, and Circle Surrogacy knew it was time to update their brand and create an intelligible site experience that reinvented the way they presented themselves to the world.
In a close and collaborative partnership with the Circle Surrogacy team, we successfully created an intuitive, industry-leading digital journey and experience that highlights the beauty of the brand and everything that it does for its customers. The result is an incredibly fast, human, SEO-friendly, immersive, and informative experience that more accurately represents Circle Surrogacy and puts potential parents and surrogates at ease throughout the process. With Circle Surrogacy, it’s always been family first, and with this new site, that’s finally represented by the digital face of the company.
Like all of our most successful projects, kicking off our own journey with Circle Surrogacy began with a discovery workshop. In this full-day co-creation session, we dove headfirst into the brand and business to gain a deeper understanding of the minds and magic behind it. Working in-person with their team allowed us to get a real feel for the challenges and fears that intended parents and surrogates experience during their journeys, which further informed our approach to telling the Circle story in a most truthful and human way.
Here, we were also able to uncover some of the most pressing issues facing the Circle Surrogacy digital experience, as well as some of their goals moving forward with a new site. These goals included increased press, improved SEO, faster load speeds, education for their three audiences, and, most importantly, an enhanced emotional look & feel while still maintaining transactional functions.
We approached the Circle Surrogacy digital experience in two parts. The first was the marketing site, which came with its own interesting challenges, most notably the need to appeal to three different audiences: intended parents, surrogates, and egg donors. This portion of the site required a UX that focused on education and brand storytelling in a fluid, snappy way to keep intended parents and surrogates informed and engaged as they worked their way through the experience.
Next up was the portal, which serves as the home base for intended parents and surrogates once they’ve begun their respective journeys. For us, the challenge of the portal was providing Circle parents and surrogates with an easy-to-use UX that accurately guides them to the forms and information they need, all while maintaining a design aesthetic and brand tone that mirrors the marketing site.
There’s nothing more emotional than welcoming a baby into this world, yet Circle Surrogacy’s digital experience showed no evidence of the life-changing impact it has on its clients. In fact, the site was almost entirely transactional in language, tone, and design. So, to successfully capture the attention of site visitors and better tell the Circle Surrogacy story, our team of strategists, writers, and designers immersed themselves in the hearts and minds of Circle Surrogacy’s audiences to craft a more emotional narrative for intended parents, surrogates, and egg donors. But this went beyond softening up the voice & tone and extended into other features, such as using real photography, adding client testimonials, implementing warm and colorful illustrations, and adding a beating heart icon in the bottom left of every page – a subtle way to remind users of Circle Surrogacy’s ultimate goal: bringing new life into this world.
After initially designing the UX and introducing more emotion to the copy and design, we had to take another look at the user experience to ensure optimal functionality could exist with the direction we were taking. Circle Surrogacy, although looking for a site with more storytelling and visual appeal, still needed a site that converted its users. But because we had designed the experience with conversions in mind, it was already primed for success. Yet looking at it again gave us the opportunity to find additional ways to improve functionality and usability for each of our audiences. Through minor tweaks to user flow, UI, and CTA location & language, we further improved the digital experience. Although small, making these adjustments resulted in reduced bounce rates and improved completion rates on all pages of Circle Surrogacy’s website.
We developed a fully digital, component-based design system in Craft CMS, which was created by designing for a variety of modules based on content types and needed functionality. This means the new Circle Surrogacy digital experience doesn’t just look good, it performs at an exceptional level, too. And, component-based design gives the Circle team the ability to quickly spin up new pages and edit existing ones whenever they need to. Combine all of this, the site’s speed, and its improved SEO with its interactivity, coherent UX, and state-of-the-art portal experience, and Circle Surrogacy’s digital experience has redefined best-in-class in the surrogacy and egg donation industry, bringing the company the digital demand they need to continue growing families and making dreams come true across the globe.
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