Website Redesign & Restructure
Deployed Resources came to CreativeMMS to overhaul their site with a modern design, make it convert customers, and optimize it for SEO.
On this project, I also overhauled many of Creative’s planning processes, instituting inter-departmental planning much earlier in the process than they had been before.
Principal Designer, responsible for:
Deployed Resources produces high-quality temporary housing and deployable living solutions for emergency services, the military, and for major concerts and events.
Before Deployed brought my team on board, the site pulled in no traffic from search and converted very few visitors into leads. Our objective was to create an SEO-optimized, interactive site that could turn visitors into new customers, without sacrificing the information current customers relied on.
After personas were created, I lead the project from information architecture through handoff to development, after which I advised and implemented changes as-needed.
Focusing on Who, Not What
One incredibly important area of improvement for the Deployed website was to de-emphasize equipment categories and put customer demographic groups front and center. It’s much easier for people to identify who they are than what they need.
Users that needed that in-depth equipment information (typically, those who were already customers) could still find what they knew they wanted through the menu. Those who were new to Deployed, though, could now easily identify the first step in their discovery process by what field they worked in.
Getting Into The Same Frame of Mind
Deployed Resources’s site was one of the more complex projects that the team had tackled in some time. I knew communicating early and often with each other was going to be key. I coordinated wireframe discussions with my content teammates so they could give layout feedback early and begin making their preparations.
Additionally, instead of simply showing my wireframes and architecture to development for them to plan from, I initiated build planning discussions so we could discuss and develop the data relationships together.
Collaborating Together on Back-End Needs
After our meeting discussing the build plan, the development team put together an outline of the data relationships for the back end of the site.
When this document came back to me, I reviewed it for accuracy and gave guidance to the team on field requirements for data entry for the dashboard side of the site, emphasizing ease of use.
Creative intended to be the team managing the site, but we’re users too! We needed to ensure that “future us” also could update the site easily.
Unifying Many Design Tools Into One System
Deployed Resources’s site was CreativeMMS’s first build with Elementor, a front-end page builder, because their site required interactive dynamic content modules from our development team. It was also the first time that design and development worked concurrently on the same project.
We needed clear communication—and lots of it—to keep things positively progressing. Working together with my Creative Director, we created the following build process:
Build Site Front-End in Elementor
Design-Build site pages to get a sense of style and elements used
Leave space and design surrounding areas where dynamic widgets will be placed
Document styles used
Design Dynamic Content Widgets
Use my guide system to mark and keep consistency between site and widgets.
Include any/all interactive state styles and notes for dev team.
Hand off designs to dev team and answer questions
Combine Into One Protoype For Everyone To Reference
Implement screenshots of widgets into Elementor site to give sense of function
Use screenshots of site to build Invision prototype for dev and client viewing
Document The Specifics
Write down spacing values as-measured/observed on screen
Create tab so that designers working simultaneously can log their progress
CreativeMMS’s first design system (rudimentary though it is). Developed into system for Core Home.