We redesigned Academy of Realist Art website, brand identity and increased their conversion rate by 40%.

Academy of Realist Art is a Toronto-based fine art atelier and ARC accredited academic institution that has been around since 1980’s. ARA needed to revamp their website to better reflect their brand and to attract more online traffic. The new website had to be user and search friendly, easy-to-maintain, and aesthetically reflect the quality of the artwork that the school and its students produced.

The old site felt cluttered and hard to navigate, and as a result was having low conversion rates and was ranking low in the search engine results for important keywords. The goal of the redesign was to be current, educational & goal-oriented for its personas. My role was UI / UX design, creative conception, and art direction, and manage the WordPress development.

To hone in on a creative direction, we started with looking at 3 different mood boards or style tiles which included typographic, imagery and stylistic explorations. One conceptual approach seemed to resonate the most with the decision makers which then became our guide in the design decision-makings moving forward.

Once the new colours, typography and imagery were decided upon we then moved on to exploring variations on the brand identity.

It was vital that the site worked well in smart devices as almost half the traffic was from mobile and tablet. The new design, therefore, was built with a mobile-first approach which was then followed by the desktop version.

Once the designs were in place and approved, we moved onto creating a working prototype of the design so that client could get a feel for the new design in a browser. We were also able to quickly test the new design with a select group of users for feedback and improvement before we went into code and development. View the prototype here.

The site became a successful medium to promote the school’s credentials as well as showcase their student artworks. Added e-commerce features streamlined processes and increased the school’s bottom line. Design-wise the site was nominated for site of the year by Awwwards.com.

A year after their launch, their traffic was up by 23%, and their bounce rate down by 17%.

I have had one of my best techie experience’s working with Sirus Azadi. I have been working with Sirus for about 1 year now on a number of different projects. He is the only tech company that I have ever worked with that actually takes the time to listen. He has always come back with idea’s that have surpassed my expectations. Even when I couldn’t really express what I needed Sirus Azadi read my mind.

I love working with someone who really takes the time to understand what my business is about and how technology can help it grow. He really takes pride in what he does, keeping in mind what’s the best for the client.

My recommendation is I will continue to work with Epic Design because of Sirus.

Colleen Johnston, President of Academy of Realist Art

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