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The changing face of giffgaff.com

handy giff-staffer

Change is difficult to get right. It can create confusion, anger and could even cause people to stop using the things you redesigned altogether.

 

However, without change, you would be left behind the competition. Also, YouTube would still look like this:

 

YouTube2005.PNG

 

So what changes has giffgaff gone through? Well, using some movie magic, I’ve put together a little tour of giffgaff’s homepage through the years.

 

Homepagehistory.gif

 

The most noticeable changes are going from 2012 to 2013 where we reduced the amount of black and then the brand refresh in 2015 where we said goodbye to the lovely pixels and hello to the funky digital noise.

 

However, look beyond the bigger changes and you’ll see the subtler changes designed to make life for everyone easier.

 

You’ll notice that the top navigation bar has had a few changes, becoming simpler and less cluttered. The login button was made more obvious instead of hidden away in the top right.

 

We also flattened the colour scheme, moving away from distracting gradients on our order buttons.

 

Welcome, my friends, to the world of Optimisation.

 

For most people, visiting giffgaff.com is a journey. You visit the site with a destination in mind, be it to research prices, order SIMs, visit the Community and so on. Optimisation involves working with the many different parts of giffgaff in order to make these journeys as painless as possible.


An example of which would be our cookie policy. Here’s a mockup of what our old cookie policy looked like in 2015 on a large number of phones.

 

Old Cookie.png

 

Now that’s a cool cookie policy, but where’s the rest of the site? Essentially, before you’ve even started on your journey at giffgaff.com, we’d put a big attention seeking boulder in the way of your path.

 

Our latest cookie policy corrects this issue, particularly on mobile. Allowing the site to still be functional at all resolutions with the cookie policy present. We monitored the performance of the new cookie policy and found that fewer members were immediately leaving at the homepage as a result.

 

A lot of the inspiration from our Optimisation programme comes from the members. I've been known to lurk around Contribute and along the way, we've helped implement some ideas on structure and text changes throughout the site and our emails.

 

The changes we make can vary wildly in size going from small text tweaks to big overhauls of sections of the site. To make sure we're on the right track, we do a lot of usability testing, A/B tests and arrange physical sessions with members for feedback.

 

We don't directly develop what goes on the site. But by using hard numbers, facts and research, we help guide the site to the right place.

 

So what's next? Well there are some bigger changes coming to the homepage to make it more relevant to members and non-members alike.

 

We'll be looking at our help pages and SIM activations to ease some common issues there and also inputting real-world feedback into the designs of future goodybag and gigabag pages.

 

Not only that, but we're also working on reducing the download size of giffgaff.com. By trimming the fat, we can make giffgaff a faster loading and more enjoyable site to use.

 

I hope my introduction to the changing face of giffgaff.com has been an enlightening one. It's been a whizzbang tour, but I hope you've found out something new.

 

Thanks,

Riaz

40 Comments
prophet

Interesting to see the changes over time, thanks.Not sure why but I still feel oddly attached to the pixels theme. Smiley Happy

guide
A little trip down memory lane! Good to see GiffGaff looking at ways to continuously improve!
dabbler
Interesting tour and good to see giffgaff moving with the times
lives and breathes giffgaff

Gets better all the time..

Bring on the giffgaff.com website refresh, I'm sure it'll take a few days to get used to, but for new members, it'll be far easier to generally use. Thanks for the simplification exercise!

phenomenon

@joolzian

 

I feel rather attached to the pixels theme myself - maybe because it was 'the norm' when I joined - or because I prefer polka dots to digital noise - more rounded; less spiky - but anything which helps the page load more quickly and take less memory will be a bonus!

 

jes

pioneer
It's been a roller coaster but a great ride. Keep it going please. I love it.
big cheese

I've never understood this: "distracting gradients on our order buttons". Smiley Frustrated I'd actually quite like buttons to look like buttons, rather than having to hover my mouse pointer over them to discover that they are actually buttons ... and you can't even do that on mobile, so you just have to tap them and see what happens. Smiley Indifferent What the truth is is that "flat", simple colour schemes are currently the in-trend across the whole Internet, as well as desktop and mobile operating systems - that's the real reason for the changes in my view: fashion, not optimisation, though I'm sure Riaz will dispute that.

 

That said, the main giffgaff.com site does look and operate a whole lot better than its community.giffgaff.com cousin, though of course that will be largely down to having to integrate with the Lithium platform on the community site.

 

I'm also in agreement with others on the pixels theme - it felt friendlier and more approachable than the digital noise revamp. But at the age of 35, like many of us commenting here, I'm outside the target demographic of giffgaff now (mind you, I probably was when I joined aged 33 too - Smiley Very Happy), and digital noise seems to suit the younger folk more, who giffgaff are primarily trying to appeal to.

Einstein a go-go

@riaz7

 

Thanks for the refresher on how the giffgaff look has changed over time ,

 

I also had a fondness for the original pixels theme  , in fact initially I was very outspoken regarding the new " Digital Noise "  theme , however over time I did get ( have got ) used to it and have to admit that I now quite like it ( but still have a liking for the pixels Smiley Happy ) ,

 

Times change and things change ...... Hopefully the changes at gg will be ones that improve things for everyone . 

 

                                          Happy giffgaffing to all  ..... thumbup.gif

lives and breathes giffgaff

@riaz7Thanks for overview of progress on the website of things 

 

Hope their was blogs like this in regards to improvements on the network ?