The Refinery - Cleveland Web Design Firm
Client Name Featured Image

vLoan

Incubated inside of a national mortgage bank, vLoan is a mortgage lending platform for a new type of borrower - millennials.

The Challenge

Borrowers traditionally rely on bankers and realtors to educate them through the process of getting a mortgage. This isn't the case with millennials, who prefer to do things on their own. Our challenge was to build an intuitive self-service lending platform for this audience.

Our Process

As a new company, vLoan relied on The Refinery to wear many hats. We worked through product conception, ideation and market feedback in a strategy session with a specialized mortgage consultant, MortgageCTO, in order to vet and prototype innovative new user interface concepts like live rate calculators and a re-imagined, simplified mortgage application process.

As the project progressed, we helped staff an internal development team for vLoan to handle the backend loan origination system, while The Refinery focused on the user interface and marketing website.

Website Design

We design websites that connect with your customers.

Our design and development process is driven by key initiatives including: user research, content architecture, design systems, standards-based markup and an infrastructure scaled for the enterprise.

We also believe in the practice of informed design. We want to know your goals, your KPI's and we want to know what YOU know about your customers, so that we can build a website that is attractive to those customers and performs as it should to help you reach the benchmarks that matter to you.

We utilize a state-of-the-art content management system (CMS) called CraftCMS to build easy to maintain websites that can grow with your business.

Card Sorting
Card Sorting

See how your users organize content.

Dev Ops
Dev Ops

Automate your operations.

HTML/CSS
HTML/CSS

Standards based front-end development.

Information Architecture
Information Architecture

Put your content in the right order.

Javascript
Javascript

Building interactive user interfaces.

Marketing Strategy
Marketing Strategy

Find new customers.

Prototyping
Prototyping

Build a new product concept to test.

Responsive
Responsive

Design for screens of all sizes.

Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization

Increase your Google ranking.

Wireframes
Wireframes

Get things laid out right.

User Experience Design

Our design concepts and decisions are based upon strategic user research.

The most important aspect of a marketing website is the ability to connect with the user. By understanding the end users through research and experience, we are able to design websites that properly represent the company and brand, speaking directly to that company’s customer base.

We work with a multitude of businesses in various industries and understand the differences between them. View our case studies and see why details of user interface design make a difference.

Card Sorting
Card Sorting

See how your users organize content.

Information Architecture
Information Architecture

Put your content in the right order.

Personas
Personas

Understand your users wants/needs.

Research
Research

Dig into how your users work today.

User Observations
User Observations

Talk with users in their natural habitat.

User Interface Design

User experience is vital to the success of any website.

Websites need to function properly, be easy to navigate, be responsive on multiple devices and support the company’s digital goals, whether being education/informational, capturing leads or generating sales.

One of the best ways to know if your website is delivering your customers what they need is to simply ask them. 

We couple industry specific best practices with user research and analytics to offer insights that help us develop websites that have an optimal structure, making them both easy to maintain and easy for visitors to use - whether it be on a smartphone, tablet or computer. 

Our case studies showcase how we are consistently able to create a positive user experiences on the websites we develop.

HTML/CSS
HTML/CSS

Standards based front-end development.

Information Architecture
Information Architecture

Put your content in the right order.

Prototyping
Prototyping

Build a new product concept to test.

Sketching
Sketching

Innovative ideas drawn on napkins.

Wireframes
Wireframes

Get things laid out right.

Web Development

We develop websites that fuel digital growth and connect with customers.

Well-built custom websites are a key element in supporting a company’s growth initiatives, KPIs and overall digital success. By understanding a company’s internal processes and what they want to accomplish online, we are able to use our development expertise to build a custom solution that far exceeds expectations.

Good websites anticipate the users needs and help them navigate to what they need easily. But good websites also make it easy for the team powering them to make updates, change layouts and add content where they need, when they need. You shouldn't need a degree in Information Technology to add a page to your website. 

We develop websites with scale in mind, so as a company grows, the websites remain useful and relevant to the organization. Browse our case studies to the right to learn more.

API Development
API Development

Get your apps talking to each other.

Database
Database

SQL DBA support.

Dev Ops
Dev Ops

Automate your operations.

HTML/CSS
HTML/CSS

Standards based front-end development.

Javascript
Javascript

Building interactive user interfaces.

Responsive
Responsive

Design for screens of all sizes.

Ruby Development
Ruby Development

Ruby on Rails web apps.

System Integration
System Integration

New apps on your current software.

Testing
Testing

Make sure it all works as it should.

The first month after launching, the new product moved more than $60 million in new mortgages. That number continued to increase month over month, as more was invested into marketing and advertising.  It has proven to be a product which disrupts the lending process by traditional banks.

The product we designed and created was successful at scale.  Through continuous refinement, we made further usability and marketing updates to the website to increase conversion rates and add additional features over time.

“The Refinery is a firm full of gifted and passionate user experience experts. They represent the end user well and strike a great balance between product perfection and the reality of time and budget constraints.”

– Rob Withers - MortgageCTO