Following on from Alton Towers, our reimagined series moves onto another well-known brand, Norton Bikes. Here we explore how this traditional well-established brand should make bigger moves digitally.
Designing an optimised, lead generating website is a scientific art form that we at Strafe Creative know a little something about. You see it’s not just about the site being visually appealing, there’s a lot of thought that goes into the design choices we make, and lots of UX nuances to be considered.
Norton Motorbikes was analysed and reimagined by:
In the motorcycling world, Norton Motorcycles are heralded as an iconic British brand – rightly so as well, having been in business for over 120 years. Earlier this year we saw Indian owned TVS buyout Norton Motorcycles, in a deal that is providing benefits to both parties.
For Norton, TVS is giving the brand a new lease of life, opening doors to 60 markets and pulling them back from an existential threat. For TVS, Norton Motorcycles gives them a new opportunity into high-powered and premium bike segments. It’s a win-win situation!
Here’s an overview of the before and after, plus some additional insights from our partners at EyeQuant. EyeQuant generates visual simulations of how users will perceive your website within the first 3-5 seconds of their visit – something that is imperative for a successful design.
Revving up their digital presence
We took to the Norton website to see what we could provide in terms of a branding boost, and an opportunity for Norton Motorcycles to showcase what they’re really about – a classic British riding experience, on a luxury motorcycle.
Their brand will be boosted financially with new investment from TVS, and what better way to showcase this than online, through a digital experience that is true to the brand, and, most importantly generates solid leads from potential customers.
I have always lusted after one of these bikes, so this is an exciting project for me personally. Here at Strafe, we’ve worked on a concept site that showcases Norton’s beautiful craftsmanship but with a focus on driving leads through a strong set of call to actions (CTA) throughout the site.
Currently, there isn’t much information on the homepage, however, we found an archived version of the site which does show us more of their offerings prior to their business issues.
Typically online, our eyes track over an ‘F’ shape across the screen, starting from the top left corner, tracking across, down, and across again. This makes that top, left part of your site, really important real estate.
As we can see on Norton’s page at the moment, there are social media icons here on the left, a large logo and a menu below all of this. Plus, there are two ‘contact’ buttons, which I definitely deem to be unnecessary.
Below this, there is little information about the company, however, what does stand out is the ‘join the team graphic’ near the bottom. According to EyeQuant, this is gleaning a lot of attention from users, attention that could be diverted to a more relevant lead-generating CTA.
Although Norton Motorcycles have several model options available, the user journey is confusing. Having clicked on various model elements including the motorbike photographs, I was led to different pages, which was confusing as a user.
Additionally, the bike photos are all on a black background, which doesn’t make any of them stand out, and in fact, this again leads to the ‘Join the team’ graphic becoming the attention grabber of the page.
There’s definitely something to be done here, to inspire engagement, and grab the users attention. The user clarity score for Norton Bikes is just 55/100, with a lot of red areas indicating that parts of the site are far too cluttered.
Product pages before - it’s about more than just the product
For me, as a potential future customer, the biggest thing missing from these product pages is the use of aspirational imagery. Selling luxury motorbikes is selling the brand, the freedom, the experience of riding, and to believe it, I want to see it. Giving potential customers the ability to visualise themselves on the bikes is key, so using photography of people riding Norton Motorbikes would really boost these pages on the site.
Using EyeQuant’s ‘excitingness’ score, we can see which areas need to be more exciting; those areas highlighted in red are viewed as ‘calming’, and not stimulating for the user. We can see that the bike, the colour options and sidebar are all stimulating the users, however, there is no stand out CTA button with users having to scroll quite far down the page to see the ‘register your interest’ button.
Further down the product page, you can see a slight colour addition, however, the CTA still doesn’t provide much information at all. What am I registering for? A test drive? A brochure? Is someone going to call me? This section could definitely be improved and brought higher up the page to keep users interested when they first browse Norton products. The bike options section gives a lot of detail on additional features, however, nothing about the bike is displayed, which is something I would definitely want to know!
Need to consider mobile conversions too!
This is probably an unfair one, as the website for Norton Motorbikes is pretty old and was likely created back when it was a new concept to have a mobile website. As you can see most of the options on display feel too small for the screen, making elements hard to click with your thumb and overall some of the content becomes illegible so not user friendly at all. You will also notice from the image that this mobile version was clearly designed back when phone screens were much smaller meaning that newer larger screens show a lot of space below the content which could be better used to showcase the motorbikes.
Norton Motorcycles, a Strafe Creative upgrade
Taking all of these ideas and elements into consideration, we landed on a great concept, one which shows how we would bring Norton Motorcycles back to life! We’re reintroducing the forgotten brand red back into the colour palette of the site, it’s modern, it stands out against the black and more importantly, it’s a nod to their heritage.
With the ‘F’ model in mind, we relocated the logo to the top left-hand corner, and the menu is in the user’s immediate eye line. Ideally, the imagery here would be aspirational and feature a rider, cruising on a Norton Bike, however, we don’t have this available right now. We’ve got two clear CTAs, top right and under the header copy with contrasting colour to draw the users attention and it’s also clear what we want from them.
Some people prefer to use the menu at the top to navigate, especially if they’re browsing via desktop. However, mobile use is really different, and actually scrolling through the page is more likely when you’re on a phone. To ensure a consistent experience for each type of user, we have included an element of each menu on the homepage, so scrolling users can see as much information as possible.
Just below the first image, we’ve included some information about the company including its future plans and below that we display the model listings. Visual cues, such as the cropped image of a fourth bike, provoke users to swipe across and then click into products for additional information. Please note that the branded menu bar and ‘book a test drive’ CTA are sticky, giving users the opportunity to take action at any point during their browsing experience.
As you scroll through the homepage, we’ve included some testimonials to add credibility, more information about the company, news to show that the business is moving forward and finally a contact form at the very end of the page. Visual cues are used through, with the colour red demonstrating a CTA in various places. The use of black as the full-width background means that the whole page flows easily, looks modern and slick.
Redesigning to help convert and improve their online experience
Bringing Norton up to speed
The Strafe design team is always looking at ways that they can help businesses build and thrive, specifically by applying our UX and conversion expertise. As Norton has just changed ownership, we thought this was a great opportunity to illustrate how we could help this 100-year-old brand excel through the next decade and how the new owners could implement their big ideas.
This brand is exceptionally traditional in its processes but we prove that it's possible to maintain that heritage while bringing the Norton brand up to speed to compete with new businesses in the industry.
"Seeing how the Strafe team can improve the websites of some really big brands, motivates me to become more hands-on and it really shows the depth of knowledge and expertise we have as a company within this field."
Setting out the stall
We saw that the Norton homepage was not doing the brand justice so we focused our efforts here during the redesign. The heritage of brands like Norton is extremely noteworthy, making them stand out within this somewhat ‘disposable’ society and the Homepage needs to tell the brand story in a way that engages the users.
Let's take a ride
During this redesign we paid great attention to combining the Norton heritage with modern design features, using the original brand red to highlight the CTAs but using contemporary typography to update the overall feel of the brand. We have broken down areas of the site into more digestible chunks so the user gets a taste of every part of Norton, including the details of the TVS buyout.
- Sticky 'Book a test drive' CTA
- The use of videos for key messages
- Best Sellers carousel to engage the users
So, what’s the deal?
We wanted to create an overall feeling that buying a Norton bike isn’t just buying a mode of transport but rather investing in that ‘open road’ experience. Currently, the imagery is limited to shots of stationary bikes where we would prefer images with riders and motion so we were unable to fulfil our full vision in this respect. However, we created sections to show off the unique selling points of Norton bikes, that they are hand maintained and receive an aftercare service worthy of the 5-star reviews they regularly achieve.
To finish off, we implement a large CTA contact form at the bottom of the page to remind users why they are browsing and that it’s so easy to book a test drive right now!
The future of Norton Motorcycles is an exciting one, and their brand deserves a website representative of this. New markets, new models and a new site will help drive leads and reignite the future of this century-old, British biking brand. I know I still want one, and now I’m even more tempted to book a test drive!