Due to the nature of the subject matter we used a soft and calm colour palette using two shades of blue. Blue was chosen due to its association with peace and tranquillity.
Only the most qualified counsellors would be listed on the site so the branding also needed to reflect a sense of trust. We created a no-nonsense tick icon within an authoritative seal. The tick badge is used throughout the site to re-enforce branding.
First and most important are people looking for help. We focussed our efforts intially on the most effective and simplest user journey for this user group. When the search area was originally designed it gave the user a number of options/filters with multiple dropdowns plus the ability to filter through the available counsellors. However, after user testing we found that people that are in need of help often don’t know exactly what help they need and making the search so complex could put them off. The decision was made to simplify our solution down to just an area search. Then when the user is on the main listing page they can filter if needed, or just find out which suitable counsellors are closest.
The second purpose is for the counsellors themselves. The site limits how much it pushes people to sign up as we didn’t want to distract from the main focus of the site, helping people get support. We added a subtle ‘Join Us’ at the top of the page and one call to action beneath the area search to make sure that always comes first. When counsellors go to join they are required to fill out a comprehensive form asking for their details, qualifications etc as the administrators of the site need to check credentials before approving them.
We focussed our efforts on how the listing pages worked because not only does it help users who want help filter through the counsellors, these options also help the counsellors be found. After a lot of variations it was agreed on location, counselling type, areas and therapies. These were included for people that know what they’re looking for so they can find people who specialise in those fields.
Utilising our other services we created a series of ads for Find a Counsellor to promote the new directory site in trade publications. The clean logo and brand style was easily transferrable for print plus working very closely with the customer on the purpose of the site from the outset made it easier for us to create an impactful ad with a clear message.