Firm Exchange is a digital exchange space for buyers and sellers of small businesses. The platform provides a place for buyers to look through listings for sale and allows both parties to communicate via a messaging system and track progress throughout the process.
When we first met with Firm Exchange, they came to the table with some design and a lot of information on how the web application needed to work to be effective. Our goals were to rebuild the dev structure of the entire site and create a consistent brand style guide to shape the website moving forward.
Firm Exchange already had a preexisting color palette composed of teal, orange, and some neutral grays. We took the preexisting colors and cleaned up their execution throughout the website. We focused on using orange as our main CTA and button color since it’s the most eye-catching. The teal became our secondary CTA color, used for icons and secondary buttons that weren’t as important as the main calls-to-action.
The typeface chosen for Firm Exchange was the Google font, “Open Sans.” Open sans is clean, easily readable, and helped create a website that was modern and offered an easily navigable interface for users. As we crawled through the original design mockups, we noticed that there were many disparate Open Sans styles and weights used throughout them. So we focused on pulling together some of the font styles, condensing them, for a cleaner, clearer font hierarchy.
Most of the front end marketing site was already completed by a previous designer, however, we did focus a lot of effort on reorganizing the individual listing page to create a better hierarchy. We used the new font styles and made buttons and actions easily accessible in the top right-hand corner.
For the logged in user, we created a dashboard, messaging system, and profile. We wanted the experience to be easily understood so we focused on using icons, notifications, and other visual elements to portray information quickly. The dashboard, in particular, was challenging because we had a limited amount of space to show a snapshot of all of a user’s deals and activity. Using a notification circle and a simplified activity bar, we were able to condense the information and still maintain clarity. We also helped users navigate notifications by categorizing them with icons and using a light blue to indicate unread notifications so users could prioritize.
The exchange space features a messaging center, historical financial information for the business being bought/sold, and the main page that tracks the progress of the deal on a timeline. Exchanges spaces allow buyers and sellers to communicate, exchange important documents and information through the messaging center, and stay organized throughout the process.
The Firm Exchange site was an interesting combination of user interface design and process development for the exchange spaces and dashboard as well as cleaning up styles on the marketing site. With a cleaner interface and some heavy development, Firm Exchange is now on the web to serve as a valuable resource for buyers and sellers exchanging businesses. You can check out the live site here.