Rafiki Digital

I was the first UX Designer brought onto the Rafiki Digital team, responsible for collaborating with the founder and UI Designer to design and launch the company's website. After the launch, we received feedback from users and came to the conclusion that the website did not position itself well relative to its competitors. We then re-grouped and produced a second version of the website.

Problem

Clients are not aware of Rafiki's existence. Further, we have observed that there is a gap in the market for companies who focus on creating simple, affordable, and minimalistic websites.

Solution

We established the company's digital presence by designing and developing a multi-page company website complete with case studies to showcase to potential clients.

Role

UX Designer

Keywords

Responsive Web

Category

Digital Experience

Design Tools

Figma

Year

2020

About Rafiki

After spending over a decade as a Web Engineer, Eric Njanga developed a passion for User Experience and founded Rafiki Digital, a startup focused on creating digital products for clients by applying the principles of user-centered design to truly delight businesses and users. 

research

Finding a Niche

Through surveys, competitive analysis, and conversations with our target audience, we were able to determine a client's expectations when visiting the website of a design agency. Since it was a challenge for us to find multiple interviewees and survey respondents, the competitive analysis became especially important, since we wanted to understand what made other design agencies, such as Konrad, successful, and what we could learn from their websites when designing Rafiki's. 

Researching other websites also allowed us to understand how we were going to differentiate Rafiki relative to other companies. Our goal was to cater specifically to startups who may lack the experience to create their own responsive websites. We tackled this goal by offering to create minimalistic websites with strong visuals, and this needed to be reflected through Rafiki's company website. 

Thus, we were left wondering:

How Might better communicate Rafiki's Value proposition based on an increase in client projects?

challenges

Time and Content

We only had two weeks to put the first version of the website together, thus we needed to narrow our scope. We agreed to focus on two pages: the homepage and the Blog page. The homepage would allow us to convey all of the information about Rafiki (e.g. Who We Are, Our Services, etc.) to potential clients and the blog enabled us to post on social media, helping establish our digital presence and generate traffic to the website.

Unlike our competitors, Rafiki had not yet completed any client projects so we couldn’t add a Case Studies section to the website. This was a major roadblock, as case studies demonstrate to potential clients what the organization is capable of. Instead, we shifted the focus to the value proposition, and illustrated how Rafiki’s minimalistic approach can help businesses gain a competitive advantage.

Version 1 of the Rafiki Digital website. Wireframes on the top row, high-fidelity on the bottom row.

Initial Market Response

After releasing the first version of the site, the response was, unfortunately, underwhelming. Three weeks following the release, we only had 300 website visits, and only 3 people had registered to our CRM. In addition to reviewing the website’s analytics, we were fortunate that people were willing to share their initial reactions upon visiting the site:

Our biggest takeaway from this user feedback was that we needed to build out a more comprehensive website in order to develop trust with potential clients. The improved website needed to have a modern, upscale look and feel with clear, concise messaging that was easily understandable among users.

If we don't challenge ourselves enough to challenge the competition, we're not going to win any business. It is as simple as that.
Eric Njanga
Founder, Rafiki Digital

Iterate

Reimagining the User Journey

To align with our users’ expectations, we redesigned and expanded upon the original website to include more pages, such as an About page and pages for our Case Studies (we were able to secure contracts with multiple clients after the first release). We then proceeded to conduct usability testing and received a much better response. Users felt that the design was much more clean and the user journey  more clear. By allowing the different sections to have their own pages, we were able to provide users with more information and depth about the company.

Updated Site Map

Storytelling

Bold & Modern, yet still Minimal

We wanted the new and improved Rafiki website to feel modern and elevated, yet still approachable. We focused on displaying relevant imagery that complimented the website and demonstrated to clients the work Rafiki is capable of. 

final product

The Implementation Journey

To minimize the number of technical constraints we would face during the implementation period, we would evaluate the feasibility of design concepts with the Rafiki founder as early and as often as we could, drawing upon his extensive development experience. The founder and I then implemented all of the designs using Webflow in addition to custom code.

Rafiki Digital is actively working with new clients. Previous clients of Rafiki include ThinkTwice and Meroe Global.

Reflection

This project taught me an important lesson about the meaning of “fail fast, fail often.” After receiving feedback from the first iteration of the website, the team was disappointed, but quickly regrouped and forged ahead. As in any startup environment, we couldn’t afford to continue spending time dwelling on past mistakes. In the end, we kept our focus on the user and were able to create a new design that was more in line with both the client's and users' expectations.

Credits

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