Leap Bookkeeping

Leap was the brain child of a favorite client of mine, Shannon Riechelt. This business was an off-shoot of sorts of her larger accounting practice that I had done website work for previously. The general vibe of this business model was to provide a fleet of on-the-go bookkeepers who could come in and help you get organized. 

Despite accounting being a somewhat stodgy subject, Shannon wanted Leap to be vibrant, outgoing and approachable. I was hired through my prior agency employer to bring the branding to life and build the web presence.

Branding

The brand concept began as a sketch and my utilizing the Σ Sigma / Sum symbol as the "E" representing the accounting and math aspect of the business.

Bold and friendly colors were chosen to break out of the stodgy confines you typically see in that industry too. The font choice was carefully picked to keep it modern and fresh and continue that theme of approachability.

Messaging

Messaging and visuals were an important part of this journey and the brand conceptual work. Through group collaboration we finally landed on:

"We Save The Bookkeeping Day"

I sought out stock visuals that portrayed this message, anywhere we could make an example of saying, go do what makes you happy and let us worry about the bookkeeping. These visuals included a guy tossing his paperwork or my favorite the bulldog getting amped to go for a W.A.L.K.

I had built a complete style guide from these assets which included social media branding / avatars, messaging, color palette and typography. This would be the foundation for the following phases of work.

Responsive Website

Initially the idea was to keep this very simple.

  • A story to introduce Leap and what they are all about.
  • A persistent lead generation contact form.
  • An internal page with a breakdown of the levels of service.

Reinforcing brand in the user experience and interface, we open with visuals to get the vibe and messaging across in all elements.

For such a small website of just 3 pages an entire discovery wireframe process was complete overkill. I went right into hi fi proofs for this project presenting several home page options on opening splash visuals.

Interactions & Language

Interaction and animations in this work included a parallax style approach on the home page to walk users through "who, why and who" of Leap.

  • In the first tier the fist bump comes together on scroll and represents Leap working together with you.
  • Second tier is the hero bookkeeper, again on scroll the city turns into night with a "bat-signal" of the Sigma symbol overhead.
  • The last tier fades in dramatically the mighty "Leap Bug" taking the bookkeepers to save the bookkeeping day.

I conceptualized the bulk of the language here also and would go on to win a judges choice award for my copywriting and visuals.

Over-delivery, Surprise & Delight

In keeping with a fun user experience to breath life and vibrancy to this market, I didn't want a plain ol' contact form. First the placeholder labels I wanted to be conversational in nature. Instead of a plain "Company:" label, asking "Where do you work?" seems like an interview which is a much warmer approach. 

I also conceptualized here an "ad libs" style form with some custom but optional fields. Upon filling out the form the user would be greeted with the thank you message but also a funny little story that included their inputs from the form.

Development

I headed development once planning and artwork was approved. The site was built in a very powerful and flexible CMS so any prototyping was easy to do in the alpha dev site. As I said though this site was simple organizationally so wasting time in conceptual prototypes was really not needed.

I utilized HTML, CSS/LESS, JS/JQuery, PHP and MYSQL to construct the site. The Design System and UI Kit were completely one-off custom, no frameworks were used or needed for this work and I wanted to maintain complete control over the UI whereas working off bootstrap for example can be a bit of a bloated nightmare to dig through. The footprint was light and performance top notch.

A sticky header was present across all devices along with a sliding drawer off-canvas menu.

Collateral

Various collateral was also part of this job spec. I carried the branding colors and vibe into print items. One of my favorite printed pieces for this job was the rack card / brochure where we show some people in some unfortunate circumstances where Leap can't help and then the "ah ha!" full opacity image of a poor sap buried in paperwork where Leap can save the bookkeeping day. I also really loved seeing the Leap Bug driving around town in the vinyl wrap branded decals.

The Take-Away

This job was really in my wheelhouse but it wasn't without lessons learned. The combination of brand and user experience is an environment I thrive in and this reinforced my love of that problem solving. This job also allowed me to more fully develop my storyboard skills and marketing copywriting in regards to informing visitors and driving lead generation. Many clients come with an idea of who they are and a copydeck to back it up but this was a soup-to-nuts type of project that was really gratifying to work on. I enjoy the challenge of building something from nothing, starting with strong brand foundations and pulling those through the user experience and interface.

Results

Leap was a toe in the water for Shannon, allowing her to test the market and ultimately she merged Leap back into her bigger accounting endeavor. It remains one of my most favorite jobs to have worked on and I'm proud to show it off whenever possible even if it didn't result in a fantastic new venture for her. I still consider it very successful as it answered burning questions about the market for my client as well as met and exceeded her expectations. 

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