Custom WordPress Design for the Talented Experience Designers at FORREC.
When we kick off a new web design project, there is often a lot of education involved in bringing our client up to speed with the creative process and reasoning behind it. Learning about the end-user or audience and how they intend to use or interact with the new website is a key element in establishing a project plan to move forward with in order to measure success and keep all stakeholders on the same page. In this case, however, the team at FORREC was already very well versed in the creative process and was very eager to dive right in as they’ve spent years following the same creative process to create compelling guest experiences on six different continents around the world.
On the heels of a fresh rebranding exercise, we kicked off the new website design project with FORREC, quickly establishing key goals for the new website and reviewing the newly established brand guidelines together.
Website Design Goals
- Analytics discovery – a top-to-bottom review of historical web analytics and audience metrics would be conducted to identify user personas and relevant technologies used to engage with the website.
- Brand review – a team review to understand and familiarize ourselves with the newly established brand guidelines created by FORREC’s branding partner.
- User-Interface design – the design of a completely custom user interface design playing off of key digital brand elements to establish a fully ownable website design.
- Custom WordPress development – to manage the new interactive website and provide total control over every pixel, the development of a custom WordPress CMS was paramount in providing the marketing team with the most powerful content tools.
- Search Engine Optimization – technical SEO and performance optimization strategies would be crucial in managing and maintaining the SEO footprint of an image-driven website.
The Web Design Process
FORREC operates around the world and required a multilingual site that served North American and European markets in English, as well as Asian markets in Chinese. Our experience working with multilanguage websites, in particular Chinese websites would be heavily relied on throughout the design and development process that followed.
Handcrafting unique web experiences for creative agencies presents a unique challenge full of opportunities to challenge the status quo. After 20 years in the web design industry, our web design team has created a 6-step web design process that we follow no matter the scope or scale of the project we’re engaged in.
The first and most fundamental phase of any project is Research and Discovery. This initial phase is paramount and establishes key benchmarks and milestones for the strategic design and development phases to follow. The Discovery phase provides an opportunity for our creative thinkers to delve into the raw user analytics data on the old website and understand what may be working well for the intended audience and, perhaps even more important, what isn’t working. In the grand scheme of things, the numbers can’t lie and help paint a clear picture of how daily visitors are interacting with the website and providing insight into which information they find the most valuable. Through this research, we also identify key user challenges evident within the existing website navigation and figure out how to solve them with a new site map design.