At VirtualPBX, we do more than develop Business Phone Plans and sell VoIP phones. Our marketing team uses visual design principles to better connect with its audience.
Throughout our website, emails, and print marketing materials, we project a consistent and purposeful design that caters to our audience. Our VP of Design & Marketing, Rachel Anderson, leads the marketing team in its charge to establish a professional look and create materials that are easy for our readers to understand and boost our conversions, helping readers become customers that have a clear understanding of the service they’re buying.
We asked Anderson a few questions about the particulars of the visual design principles that guide her and the entire marketing team. Her insight here will give you a detailed picture of all the visual elements you see here and throughout our work.
Our Q&A With Rachel Anderson
1. How important is visual design in VirtualPBX’s website, email campaigns, and other marketing efforts you can custom design?
Design always serves a purpose and caters to a particular audience. In our case, we’re designing for busy professionals who, rightly so, are concerned about their business communications. We should never waste their time and we should always reaffirm that we are trustworthy, professional, and can handle any curve balls they throw at us (and then some).
If our website, emails, and all other materials don’t embody clarity, professionalism, and contemporary taste, can our audience really entrust us with everything that occurs over their phone system?
2. Using the VirtualPBX website as an example, what are the types of design elements you prefer to make an end result that is visually appealing, sells well, and provides visitors with enough information to make an informed choice?
We’ve been through countless iterations of our pricing tables and we always have at least a handful of visually distinct versions serving different purposes across our website. As a business, we really pride ourselves on transparency. The telecommunications industry has been notorious for hidden fees and surprises in the fine print. We don’t want to be that way.
That said, it can be a lot of information to share and we’re up against potential decision-making fatigue and flashy offers from competitors. Among the elements used to counter this in our current tables, we’ve employed hover animation to draw visual focus and encourage action and toggles to show/hide information by need. Of course, the table styling and chosen hierarchy of information presented also play big roles. These tables should always stand out as the most appealing thing on the page.
3. Do you consider text to be part of visual design? In what way?
If you can see it, it’s part of the visual design – nothing gets a “pass.”
I’d also add though, that it’s not just the color, size, font, or the treatment of the text, but word choice, tone, brevity, and the actual content of the text, too. Ideally, each individual part of visual design principles works together to reaffirm your intent.
4. How do you use VirtualPBX brand colors (blue, white, gray) to convey a mood to your audience? There’s a lot of variation in the light and dark shades used throughout the website, for example. How are those shades used?
This question flashes me back to six years ago when I joined the company as Lead Graphic Designer and my first task was to define VirtualPBX’s brand style guidelines.
Blue has been in our logo for years, but otherwise color choice in visual materials was never firmly stated, so I had some room to redefine our style. In the end, blue became our primary color. From a color theory perspective, blue is calming and best employed in circumstances where you’re trying to explain or teach something. This fit perfectly with our intent to clearly explain our plans and services to a busy audience who may not find the prospect of comparing phone service providers calming.
Color theory also works as a visual design principle to assert that analogous color pairings (monochromatic, or side-by-side pairs on the color wheel) are calming – advancing our goal further. We use shades and variations of our primary blue and secondary black to draw attention in particular to calls to action, buttons, and links on our site.
5. In what ways do you use GIFs and videos to your advantage?
Not only are we interested in being transparent with our plans and pricing, we’re eager to share the actual experience customers have with us to our prospects.
GIFs and videos are a great way to share our Dash Business Phone System interface. Most updates in our phone system are made with a few clicks, so why tell someone about those clicks when you can record a screen and show them? It lets them imagine themselves in the driver’s seat, and we hope, lets them come to the conclusion, “Oh, this is easy, I can do this.” Outside of promotional purposes, we also find that GIFs and videos reduce confusion for our customers and are more desirable vessels for getting help for many than, say, a text-only help guide.
6. How do you make calls to action stand out from other text and visual elements?
The most notable contrast on a page should be reserved for the call to action. Always.
If a visitor notices anything on your page, it should be the thing that you want them to do. For us, this is usually a big blue button with text in all caps and some hover behavior.
Phone System Visual Design Principles
What Anderson has shared here applies, as we’ve established, with all our marketing materials. Importantly, it also extends into the design of our Unlimited Users Plans and Unlimited Minutes Plans, which we strive to make as visually distinct and accessible as everything else we present. Take a second today to schedule a Free Demo to see it in action.