Website of the Week (Week 91)

Renate Rechner

This week’s winner is Renate Rechner

Renate Rechner is an Austrian psychologist with a focus on ‘positive psychology’, offering coaching and supervision for individuals and teams. Her wish for users to seek change through adopting a different viewpoint, is ever prominent in every element within her branding, and is clearly interwoven throughout her website.

Immediately the user is presented with this analogy, as the logo rotates and her slogan ‘change your perspective’ is reflected on the loading page. Her underlying principle is emphasised by what at first seems to be a conventional presentation of information, but the layout juxtaposes the expected with the unexpected, reinforcing her message to challenge the approach to positive psychology. The (near perfect) complementary colours of pink and aqua green packs a further punch to maintain the intricate level of detail.

When the homepage is loaded, the layout is vertically split into two. With the logo sitting in the centre of the screen and remaining a familiar constant throughout the user’s journey, its placement is at the heart of the website, both literally and metaphorically. There is a feeling of calm with the use of a soft, warm grey, it’s simple and clean layout, photography and minimal navigation, but also a feeling of positivity from the splash of vivid pink.

However, there is something distinctly odd and perplexing about the placement of the pull quote – it’s upside down?! Or at least for the time being it is. The pull quote perfectly mimics the right-hand side of the logo until you begin to scroll down. Expecting to see another page of a similar layout, the user is in fact presented with parallax rotation. In doing so, the content on the right-hand side is pivoted to sit on the left-hand side, the pull quote now sitting the correct way up and replacing the right-hand side with new ‘mirrored’ content.

Acting as the main selling point of the website, this clever and poignant use of design and functionality enhances the user’s interaction, driving home the message of changing people’s perspective.

In addition to the parallax functionality, the light use of animation in the title sequences to each page, in particular the floating letters, highlights the need to remove any emotional burden the user may have – a feeling of weightlessness is achieved. Secondary to this, the use of a strikethrough in the collapsable menu and interchanging pull quote, has a more assertive and positive impact, indicating decision-making and change.

The site is intentionally very light in content, with only 6 ‘main’ pages. Its purpose is to steer the user through a simple, uplifting path with positive and reflective tone, before presenting them with an intriguing and leading sentence, ‘Dare the first step’. A softly flashing cursor preceding the words ‘enter your name’, is a tempting and pleasing invitation to get the user to engage and open up. The simple navigation underneath, indicates that there are only 3 simple steps to get in touch with her, and the carefully selected phrasing makes it so easy and unintrusive to do so.

Renate Rechner has cleverly delivered a website that reflects her practicing ethos – engaging, vibrant and challenging the status quo, the result is a truly unique and enjoyable experience. Sign me up for some positivity!

Visit the Renate Rechner website here.