Athene had acquired Aviva USA, and we had to rebrand everything. Aviva's websites had been built on IBM's Websphere Portal, and WCM. The plan was to upgrade to a newer version of portal and redesign the site. I had been designing and building small responsive microsites for Aviva and we all agreed it was worth the effort to develop a new responsive theme for our public website. We only had a few months to complete all the work, so the customer and agent portals would remain on their existing fixed-width theme with simple changes of the colors and imagery.
The Athene brand was in a state of transition. Exploratory research was underway with a branding agency, but we couldn't wait months for new guidelines. The existing Athene collateral and sites felt somewhat cold and sterile, which was a huge change from Aviva's attitude. I explored different design options using Style Tiles. My main goal was to show the difference between the classic Athene look and an approach using some brighter colors. Our design team was also advocating for a brand typeface that had a variety of weights and was easy to read.
We documented the current site structure, and worked through what content changes would be needed. I used Axure to make an interactive wireframe prototype to show how users would navigate through the site.
After the wireframes were approved, I moved on to creating high fidelity mockups to tie in the visual design. These were used to get sign-off from stakeholders, and show developers different navigation states.