About the project
During my time at Acrona in the summer of 2018 I worked on a wide variety of smaller websites but Freelancenetwork was the one big project I was given. Freelancenetwork is a website for freelancers and employers to find each other and work together. The website had been around since 2011 and while the numbers weren't bad at all the website was due for a refresh. The main goal for the redesign was to attract more businesses since there were a lot of freelancers already registered. I also had to keep in mind that the numbers for the website were quite good already so the goal was to improve these numbers. I know a redesign can cause some confusion for regular users so this was very important here.
Concept & wireframing
Before even getting started with sketching I needed to take a deep dive into what's already out there. I did some market research on other freelancing websites and what they had to offer. Next to this I also used persona's to define who my end-users were going to be. I did this to make sure I fulfilled all of the different kinds of needs different users will have.
As usual with bigger projects I started on paper before moving to a digital environment. I spent a lot of time making lists of pages the platform needed. I also took a lot of time to sketch out the website roughly at first and presented these to the client before moving to digital wireframing. During digital wireframing I also made the prototype clickable to test user flows and to see if there were any "dead ends" with the final wireframes I moved on to the design of the new website.
The branding for Freelancenetwork was also done in 2011 and was also in need of a revamp. I created a new logo, chose new font's, chose new colours but kept green as the main colour for the brand. I did pick a new and fresh green since the old one felt a little dull in my opinion. From these main brand assets I also built business cards, google advertisement banners, Christmas cards, coffee cups, ...
I spent a lot of time figuring out how to create a homepage that would cater to both freelancers & businesses. In the end we decided to shift our focus here more towards businesses since that were the profiles we needed to get onto the platform the most. Here businesses can immediately start finding the perfect freelancer at the push of a button. Here we also highlight a couple "premium" profiles, these people paid to be higher up in the ranking.
Next users will encounter a list of popular categories, the newest freelancers on the platform, an introduction video, the latest posted jobs and a couple testimonials from users. At the bottom of the page there is a 2nd big call to action to create an account.
Next were the overview pages; the pages where we showcase lists of freelancers and jobs. Displaying as much information in a tiny space was the main challenge here. Especially for the jobs since because we wanted to display the duration, location and type of job on the card. I also introduced a feedback system so people who work with freelancers could give them feedback and a score on their profile.
Something the previous website didn't have were profiles. Freelancers had to personally email companies who posted on the website to get a job. With this redesign we wanted to give users profiles to both showcase their work and attract businesses who are interested in working with them. Profiles hold all the information about freelancers like their skills, language strength, experience,... I also created a space to showcase part of a portfolio and see reviews.
It was very important to us to make it easy for businesses to contact freelancers. That's why I created a "quick contact box" on the bottom of each profile. Here you can reach out to a freelancer as a business and quickly attach the opportunity if you have created one on the website already.
This project was the largest I had ever done right after graduating and it has taught me a lot about webdesign, grids, re-usable elements, scaling, styleguides, and so much more actually. Doing this kind of platform also taught me I didn't want to just do regular webdesign. I would rather work on bigger project and bigger/scalable web-applications. Looking back on this project now almost 2 years ago I feel like I have grown a lot as a designer and there certainly are things about this project I'd change. Like the way input fields behave or about the spacing of certain elements. Nonetheless this project has taught me so much I felt like I needed to showcase this.