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What does it mean?


6 minutes of reading

       Today, many have already learned how to make design technically OK, and ideas are what is valuable. Simply put, it is when you do not just everything you can but analyze the task and do only what is necessary to obtain a tangible business result, optimize costs and share responsibility with the client. The consulting approach requires a broad vision, significant involvement, and foresight, proving more profitable in the long run. In a joint special project with Areal.Design we will decompose an actual design consulting project into stages and show how the details of this approach provide a result.


We – the art-director Andrew Hurmanchuk and strategist Roman Slipchenko – have worked in the design consulting field and marketing for over 10 years. In 2019, we founded consulting design agency During this time, a lot of companies became our clients: New Products, Parimatch Tech, Laba, Ingo Insurence, and others companies. Three «Website of the Day» and other mentions appeared in our awards collection.

Consulting approach in design means creating a unique user experience with the help of design thinking. The work is carried out in close cooperation with the client. The result is not just a completed project but the growing performance of the company.

       Our approach involves not only the development of solutions but also their implementation. This allows us to go through the entire process without loss of quality. But at the same time, it requires versatile experience in marketing and a clear understanding of a product's future: where and how the product will live, develop, and function.

CSS Design Awards

The Kyiv clinic AXEL Clinic website received the "Website of the Day" award from the CSS Design Awards. This is the first time in the competition’s history that the healthcare institutions’ website has won such an award. In addition, this is an exemplary design consulting project, on the example of which it is easy to show what results consulting gives to a business and how it helps to stand out in the market.

CSS Design Awards


( Step 1.)
             We study the tasks and find out if we can help the client

“We have completed the space renovation and are ready to move on. How?" - approximately with such words, our meeting with the AXEL Clinic team began. The clinic already had a name, and a logo, a space with state-of-the-art equipment. Brand strategy and communication were our fields of care.

After several strategy sessions, we put together a pool of marketing design hypotheses. The role of consulting at this stage is to discard non-working and inefficient options before testing and, secondly, to find points of maximum growth. Sharp decisions always come with some risk: it is an experiment to which the client and the agency must be ready, relying on experience and knowledge in each sphere.

( Step 2.)
             We study the marketing context.

In the first stage, we analyzed dozens of Ukrainian clinics in the "medium +" segment and determined that only a few can offer a complete product. Usually, one of the components fell out: location, equipment, doctors, or a well-thought-out range of services. So we identified such rational advantages: a modern industrial park and a full range of services in one place.

In the second stage, we studied the behavior of clients of private clinics. The pandemic highlighted the importance of taking care of health: people began to visit clinics more often, spend more on services, and, consequently, become more demanding of the service. We compared this request with the capabilities of AXEL Clinic and expanded the pool of benefits with emotional impressions: a stylish interior, a relaxing atmosphere, and attentive service.

Group 11
“I want clinic visits to match my daily joys: working in a stylish office, visiting beauty salons and restaurants, shopping in good supermarkets.”

Positioning development

Based on the findings, we formulated the positioning “A clinic where you can calmly and systematically manage your health” and developed the main messages:


      The stress-free atmosphere at AXEL Clinic. You will want to visit us more often, but your health will not give you a reason for this.

      Innovative equipment of the AXEL Clinic. What seemed impossible yesterday today can be solved during a lunch break.

Pleasure has become the territory of the brand and its main concept. A little unexpected for the medical services sector, you must agree. However, this value, missed by competitors, helped the brand stand out and gain loyalty.

Why is the pleasure of contact with the clinic important?

The client counts on high-quality medical services by default, choosing a private clinic of the middle + segment. The emphasis is shifting to such advantages as the interior, service quality, and communication. These factors have a decisive influence on patient satisfaction and, therefore, business productivity.

Research data

Research data:

Group 11

92% of U.S. clinics and health centers listed consumer satisfaction as their top investment goal in 2021.

Building communication

Who is a person who is looking for a clinic before becoming a patient? Healthy person. User. Before making an appointment, he reviews many clinic websites and online doctor aggregators.

“We studied dozens of clinic sites: most of them have “the best doctors” pictures from photo banks, “hospital” style, and communication. We chose an alternative way - to convey the clinic atmosphere, to form positive expectations and even anticipation of the visit.”

Andrew Hurmanchuk, art director
Building communication

It is fundamentally important to convey the level of the clinic from the first screen to state the benefits clearly. The role of the design consultants at this stage is to highlight the main, discard the obvious and the secondary, and pick up the tone of voice and visual language.


The most important part of the work in design consulting is the embodiment of all strategic developments into visual manifestations. And the key role is played not only by technical capabilities but also by experience and vision. Below are the components of the project that make it cool in terms of design and effective in shaping the image:

1.     The clinic has two areas: a multidisciplinary clinic and aesthetic medicine. People come to the site of a multidisciplinary clinic to solve problems and to an aesthetic clinic to look and feel better. We decided to separate users by directions, simplifying navigation from the first screen. We have developed two sites in one: with different user experiences, united by the same style.
2.     Stylistics. To convey the clinic's atmosphere, we have developed a visual language inspired by the interior: geometric shapes, natural colors, and stylish "magazine" page design. These are very atypical methods for the site of a medical institution, which evoke associations rather with a relax-hotel or an expensive design bureau.
3.     Another feature of the website is that it is obscenely clean and easy to perceive. We deliberately abandoned the walls of SEO text and freed visitors from having to search for the information they need in tons of content and complex menus.
4.     We embodied the vibe of innovation in a unique spherical entity – a molecule that also references the clinic's logo. It is a molecule of endorphin, the hormone of joy and pleasure. The 3D entity was created using the X-Particles software, which generates polymorphic streams of particles according to the given parameters. To "fit" the object into the clinic's interior, we also created a 3D model of the required space.
5.     Throughout the journey, the user is accompanied by decorative and functional micro-animations. For example, a menu introduced in the shape of periodic table elements collapses into a burger when scrolling, illustrations, and additional text blocks are revealed, and buttons and other details change on hover.
6.     According to research and further analytics, more than 80% of sessions fall on smartphones, so the design and layout are designed mobile-friendly. Therefore, in mobile, everything is also convenient and intuitive, everything opens smoothly and flies agile.
7.     Content is a different story. We needed high-quality photos and videos to fill the site, so we shot the content ourselves. For the filming of the clinic, interior photographer Andrey Bezuglov was invited, who shot, for example, the New York Buddha Bar. For different frames, the site selected its technique and lighting. Some photos had to blend in with the background, and some had to be more contrasting.
art director

*Crystal clear glass partitions gave our art director a broken nose and a free surgical appointment between shoots.

We shot video business cards for each doctor so the user could get acquainted with the specialist's expertise and form his idea of ​​a doctor - this is the formation of expectations.

8.     To not spill the concentrated image created on the website, we have also developed detailed guides for promotional materials and maintaining clinic pages, which include: approach, content plan, rules of general aesthetics and visual techniques, tone of voice texts up to emoji. In designing the patient experience, it is essential to ensure a predictable and enjoyable experience at every point of contact with the brand.
To compare our benchmarks with the opinion of the global professional community, we applied for the CSS Design Awards, where the website received the maximum points for UX, UI, and innovation and won the "Website of the Day" award.
Website of the Day


        As a marketing partner, we support and promote the clinic, testing various lead-generation hypotheses. We released four iterations of the landing page alone, changing the UX and content to increase conversions. The result is a lead cost decreasing now and a predicted steady cost drop over a three-or-four-year distance. We also provide strategic and tactical advice on user-experience issues and design and produce offline media such as brochures, billboard banners, and videos for screens on the front of the clinic.

Design consulting requires a deep dive into the product by the agency and, at the same time, trust and high involvement in the process from the client. This approach is long, complicated, and expensive, but these things make the difference. A website is a capital investment in brand and marketing. A good project will be relevant for 3-5 years, so the cost of the solution should be calculated for the entire period of ownership. The bonus is the result, which will become a benchmark for the entire industry, not only in Ukraine.
Roman Slipchenko, strategist