Web Site Case Study
Asking the right questions
The Enterprise Center came to Metropolis after unsucessfully attempting to redesign their site two different times with different agencies. We commenced with an in-person meeting with all the stakeholders. Target audiences, goals, and technical considerations were all discussed. At the end of the first discovery meeting, the client said, "No one has ever asked us those questions before."
- Improved look and feel
- Make it easy to add content
- Help create a community
- Target start-up, growing, and established companies
A wide audience
The Enterprise Center is known as a small business incubator. They wanted to evolve their brand to become an indispensable resource for all businesses — from start-ups to fully-established companies who are looking to grow.
The previous site used a custom CMS that wasn't very flexible, and was often difficult to use. This new website design allows the Enterprise Center to change anything on the site from the navigation menus to the slider content on the home page. And because it was built on the WordPress platform, it was already familiar and easy to use for the client.
Initial discussions around community led to a separate "community page" that would require users to log in so they could post messages and comment back. Eventually, we recommended incorporating the communities people already belong to (such as Facebook and Twitter) rather than forcing them to become active in yet another community.
Consistency is important for brand messaging. While the site's content needs to be customizable by various people at the Enterprise Center, it also needs to have some restrictions placed on it so the layout, colors, and formatting remains consistent from month to month, and from site editor to site editor.
Keep the curve!
The curve element has been a part of their brand for the last 10+ years, so a major curved element was required for the new website design. The Enterprise Center's vibrant personality is driven by its president, Christine Sullivan. She settles for nothing less than perfection, which is just the way we like it.
Specifications & Requirements
- Brand evolution
- Colors have to be vibrant and exciting
- Use real photos whenever possible
- Set up templates to help with brand consistency
The new website design is editable with a back-end content management system (CMS). The client wanted the ability to edit everything on the site. That meant a lot of custom fields and special formatting to ensure it all looked great no matter who entered it.
- Home page slider
- Single entry, multiple instances
- Custom field formatting
- Social media integration
Home page slider
The main content slider on the home page allows the client to change everything, from the background image to the call-to-action. It is important to keep this content flexible because of its prominent location on the site, and the fact that it contains many entry funnels into the different areas of the website.
Single entry, multiple instances
"I want to enter content in one place, but have it show up in many." We achieve this through the use of custom fields and RSS feeds. Content such as News or Events show the full article on the individual News or Event pages, they show an abbreviated listing on the overview pages, and just a snippet on the home page.
Custom field formatting
Custom fields were created for many content types including images, headlines, subheads, and sponsors. This simplifies the data entry process while keeping all content consistent by applying global styles to these content types. (A.K.A. - It makes it hard for the customer to accidentally screw up the look of the site.)
Social media integration
The new site integrates social media in three ways. You can globally "like" or "tweet" the site from the top of every page, visitors can like and tweet the content on individual pages, and there are links to the Enterprise Center's external social communities in the sidebar of all pages. Additionally, a commenting system is implemented on the blog pages.
Site traffic statistics
Overall, site traffic is up especially with the inclusion of the blog. Also, site duration visits are twice as long (in some instances three times as long) as the old site and my bounce rate has decreased by half. Also, I have found fewer inquiries from people looking for specific information on the website who are having trouble finding it. I think the addition of a site-wide internal search feature coupled with a clean and easy-to-navigate design means site visitors are not contacting us to find specific information like workshops or special events. Site-related inquiries are pretty much non-existent at this point in time, when they used to be several a month.
- Site traffic increased
- Visitors stay on site up 200-300% longer
- Bounce rates down 50%
"I can't believe we didn't do this sooner!"
"I really like this process. It has made us focus in a way that none of the other efforts did." - Christine Sullivan, President, The Enterprise Center