Key Group: a look into our web design process

Key Group
Digital design
Financial Services


Our rebrand of Key Group, market-leaders in equity release, delivered a refreshed creative approach for the brand, delivering a new logo, design assets, strapline, purpose, mission, characteristics and internal company values. This had been rolled out internally but not communicated externally.


As the parent company of several businesses, the mission and vision of Key Group had shifted with each new acquisition, working with Start the business was able to establish a new iteration that reflects where the business is and its ambitions – to be the UK’s leading later life lending company.

To coincide with the launch of the new proposition, Start was tasked with creating a new website that would allow Key Group to communicate the mission and vision to its audience.

Understand the business and its audience

The businesses that Key Group is comprised of all focus on later in life lending, however, each of their offerings all differ, and so, the audiences that Key Group needs to talk to are varied.

To gain a fuller understanding of the Group and its audiences we held workshops and interviews with key stakeholders, gaining insights on their business needs and the types of audience they target.

Designing with a focus on audience

To keep the audience central to what we created, we used the insights gathered from the workshops to create audience profiles. Identifying the audience’s needs, behaviours, and perceptions of the Group, provided us with a method to confirm that any features included on the site would ladder back to a clear audience need. To support the profiles, surveys were created to get more primary feedback when validating features.

Stakeholders were kept heavily engaged throughout designing the website. Working sessions were held to allow us to keep the business’ requirements clearly in focus, validating our design decisions as they developed.

Bringing the brand to life

Prototyping of the website happened as soon as we began creating wireframes, initially testing the usability journeys within the site, and then as designs progressed, validating the clarity of the user interface styles we had designed. Testing from an early stage afforded us the ability to quickly improve on solutions that were less effective at answering audience needs before they became heavily ingrained into the design of the overall website.

Once satisfied with the structure and flow of content on the site, we began to look at designing the UI for the website. The new Key Group brand has access to a large colour palette, so it was important to create clear rules around UI patterns used on the website to prevent it from skewing too youthful or informal in appearance. A bold and simple style was applied to all the interactive elements to ensure they stand out against any colourful brand elements.

Finally, to support the development of the website and to ensure consistency across further digital touchpoints that are to be created for Key Group, we created a design system. This documented key UI elements and components that are used throughout the site, forming a central point of reference when developing the website.