by Craig M Wright - SharePoint Design, Case Study - Aug 14, 05:19 PM
The fine folks at Andrews Distributing afforded me the opportunity to design and build their corporate website in SharePoint 2007.
HOW TO GET IT DONE
Getting to know you
Every good design process begins with exploring. You both learn about what kinds of problems you really need to solve and pick up clues as to how to solve them that come in handy down the road.
This project started out with a meeting to "glean what afflicts them" and review a creative brief that had been forwarded and somewhat filled out by the client.
What we figured out
Andrews Distributing had an existing web site and felt like it had run its course. It was built years ago with Flash and was a nightmare to update. Once more the design did not represent the brand that Andrews had spent so many years to carefully develop. So the objective was in fact two fold.
Show what you know
- Create a compelling design that supports a very well developed and recognizable brand.
- Make sure that editing the site is easy for non-technical users.
Once you have identified the issue and it has been agreed upon, the way tend to work is really centered around visual communication. I use drawings both on paper and of the digital variety. In this case the sitemap was that of a traditional brochure site with little variation and the workflow on the client side was non-existent. The real challenge here was to make sure the "mini workflows" that the web parts provide are acceptable for the team that updates the site.
In this case SharePoint 2007 was a really big asset. I spent a few hours and put together a working prototype. The client was able to spend time with the prototype and get a real feel for how to interact with the CMS side of things. Once we signed off on the web parts the site needed some visual design.
Make nice with it
One of the great things about Andrews is they have a very well defined culture and brand. It was a personal challenge to meet the standards and expectations established by the staff and leadership. I think the biggest boost to my design was a tour of the corporate office and a history lesson on the company. I even went on a mini photo tour and created some of my own assets for some banners. The design when it was all said and done was well received and is something I was proud of.
Andrews was very happy with the design and execution of the site and I have received a great deal of positive feedback.