Celine Leclere is an experience PA based in London. By working in the admin field for over 10 years she has come to an understanding that many small businesses and start-ups in the UK are not so willing to hire a full-time Personal Assistant to help with their day to day tasks, although they become increasingly busier as the business grows.
As a freelance Virtual Assistant, Celine realised she could provide support the same way a PA would do in bigger companies except that she could be flexible to suit the business requirements by working on contract bases, part-time, or as and when they needed her help.
My client's website was delivered in 2017 after a small market research - due to budget and time restrictions. In order to develop a dedicated solution for the type of business she intended, my aim was to understand and corroborate trough data - before starting any design work - if and how Celine's idea could have been successfully implemented as a business model.
For the purpose of this exercise I have interviewed 5 users who met demographics. Users were between 25 and 50 years old and owned a small/medium size business which could have used a PA, but never actually hired one on full-time bases. Most of the users were contacted and recruited via LinkedIn. I held face to face and Skype interviews about their needs, experiences and frustrations when it comes to run their business. Interviews were ran to understand how our users allocate and manage resources, what they prioritise in doing so, and obviously how would they find useful to hire a part-time PA to help them with their daily tasks.
Main takeaways as part of the interview sessions were:
While studying the market competitors' products within the UK I realised that the “Virtual Assistant” was not a very common or well-known figure online. There were only very few agencies out there offering similar services for very low hourly rates and throughout very poor looking and extremely impersonal websites. Instead during my researches I've realised that being a PA means most importantly being someone that business owners can trust on a personal level as she/he will have to handle aspects of their personal lives as well as highly confidential matters of their business. That's when I realised that showing Celine's personality through her website as well as her professionality became a very important aspect of this project.
Based on the data collected so far, throughout interviews and competitor analysis, my primary Persona for this project helped me empathise with user’s personalities by highlighting motivations, needs and frustrations and understand their expectations when searching for a PA.
Users look into hiring someone whom they know will have to liaise with very closely. Someone able to fit easily within a small group and represent them in all their communications. Someone they can trust and delegate logistics so they can focus on the main business.
Celine and I agreed therefore that her new website was going to be a small personal 3 pages website. A simple and quick to navigate website which main purposes would be to:
A small prototype came also very handy to better visualise and test website's interactions and animations. I have tested this prototype with some of the users I have interviewed at the beginning of my research fase. I asked them to complete a series of tasks and measured their results, fixed any issues and retested until I felt I was ready to move on to designing the UI.
I have designed Celine's Logo and branding by selecting all the colours, font types and the iconography necessary to define the vision of her business as a whole.
Celine's website was a responsive website designed and developed with in mind ultimately the users main needs when looking into how a Virtual Assistant could be beneficial to their business and busy life schedule.
Slick, stylish, minimal but with a touch of classicality, the website's look and feel was designed to reflect Celine's fresh and sofisticated personality.
The website is not live anymore, but you can view it here as I've designed it.