Axis Europe, Digital Transformation, out with the old, in with the new!

Generate UK were delighted to be tasked with the redesign and development of the new Axis Europe site.

Axis Europe is a London based organisation that service and facilitate to the housing, commercial and retail markets.

Their arm extends from the simple task of re-fitting a plug to a full store refit, both of which are done with the same skill and precision to ensure the job is done to the best of standards.

The current site spanned hundreds of pages in an out of date aspx language that not only rendered incredibly slowly, even on old browsers, but was not fit for purpose in the modern age of the fast, mobile browser.

This encapsulated the task for the team at Generate UK, and to boil it down to one word. Streamlining.

Our task was a tall one. How could we take a site that said so much and squeeze it into a footprint that took up so little.

The answer was simple. We would simplify down the clutter, strip out what was not required, and state everything that needed to be stated, by, ensuring the messaging was strong, the content was solid, and the visuals were striking.

The creative process started with the consideration of the elements. At its core the Axis Europe organisation is boiled down to the three core areas. Housing, Commercial and retail. These three areas, aside from the primary Axis Europe status, was the key to the structure.
This was considered through colour, imagery and the correct messaging to differentiate between each of the core services.

Axis Europe is hugely proud of its work, and certainly some of the great projects it has undertaken. So ensuring a news and projects area was designed to be visually stimulating and simple to navigate was imperative.

With the same breath it was important to ensure that news and projects could be easily divided between the three areas. This was done through the use of simple accent colours to match the overall swatches used to split out the areas.

Like any big organisation, Commercial and Social Responsibility is critical to demonstrate services to communities and businesses. Therefore the CSR requirements of the site also needed to be considered.

One of the biggest CSR contributions from Axis Europe was the creation of the Axis Foundation. A means of Axis Europe giving back to communities that have taken them in. The Axis Foundation needed to be showcased on the Axis Europe website, but also has its own site www.axisfoundation.com

All these elements needed to be shown in a clear legible design, which was functional across multiple platforms and multiple devices. Ensuring the site was responsive was one of the primary objectives for the Generate UK team. So once the primary elements of the site had been outlined we needed to consider structurally how these would expand and collapse depending on the device the user would be using.

A web designer needs to have a good understanding of the way a site is built, how it moves, the points of interaction and ensuring the user experience and user interface is as clear as possible. Minimal clicks, maximum output.

Having this understanding meant as designers we were clear that the site would be built using percentages as to define the structure of the elements of the layouts.

Using percentages means that a box which needs to use 20% of the screen display will always take that space, irrelevant of the displays size. With the additional use of maximum and minimum widths we can dictate the stopping point for a specific items width.

Aside from the application of colour, font, style and structure, the final element to the visuals of the Axis Europe website was to create a collection of iconography which could be used across the site to reference specific services within each of the three areas.

The use of icons is a clever technique to provide a visual reference without displaying a image that may become quickly outdated.  Icons work, provided they are subtle, yet visually descriptive of the subject matter.

The outcome of the Axis Europe project, was the design and creation of a unique website in a market that seems to lack a true sense of difference in the digital world. Working closely with the team at Axis Europe, we have built a website that truly demonstrates a company that wants to really shout about the great work they do, and stand out from the crowd with their digital presence while doing it.