RTP Company: A Great Client, A Great Project
My last project, which officially was completed 3 weeks ago, was one of the best projects I have ever been fortunate enough to work on. I say this because of the incredible freedoms given to me by RTP Company. They said, “Start with a clean sheet of paper and see what happens.” So I did.
With the tremendous efforts of one of their team members, Kirk Fratzke, we achieved a design that is as easy to navigate as it is to look at. I came up with the concept and together Kirk and I smoothed it over and polished it up to the point where the both of us were very pleased.
From the onset I decided they needed to be fully compliant with both Web standards and accessibility guidelines. This was important to me as a visual designer and as a technical designer; as an in formation architect and as a, well, simply put, human being. Not all of us can see or hear perfectly making life in general more difficult. Now imagine “surfing” the Web.
With all this in mind tables were left in the same shallow unmarked graves as the dinosaur’s and in their place shiny, bright, beautiful XHTML and CSS reign supreme. This was a major facet of this design and one thing I was relentless pursuing. But, with that said, I wasn’t about to have it look like every other XHTML/CSS site out there, having the typical one, two or three column look with a header and/or footer. Sure, a lot of the inside pages are indeed structured like that, but the fron page is most certainly not. I designed the look and feel of the site in Adobe Photoshop (of course) with no concern as to how it was going to get put together; I knew I could do it. Period.
So it began; I started to figure out where to place all the elements in DIVs that interacted with each other, floated on their own and every combination in between. And to have them in the document in the right places so when a reader parses the information it will make perfect sense to the listener. This was, in no small exaggeration, the most complex and thought-wrenching design I have ever implemented, though looking at it, without knowing any of the complexities or markup involved, you would think nothing special of it. And to that I say, “mission accomplished”. It shouldn’t stand out in any way. It should just work. And look good doing it.
After months of development and fine tuning, the RTP Company Web site was launched. In a few short weeks I received one of the nicest “Thank You” emails of my career, and I would like to share that with you.
There is a lesson to learn for good user interface design from the launch of RTP Company’s website redesign. Since release overall site traffic is about the same as in the past, up a little, but nothing to get excited about.
What we can get excited about is we have seen about a 40% increase in e-mail coming in from response forms on the website, things like Ask our Engineers, those prominently displayed in the Interact with RTP Company box.
This box is not on every page, but it is on most of the significant ones and it goes to show that if provided with a clear avenue for communication people will and do use it! And it is those responses that are the driving force behind our websites success.
RTP Company’s website has always been successful for us, it is our public face to the world, and it is our number one generator of new customer prospects — I have always thought it was because we had good content — Content is the reason people go to and come back to websites — We have always gotten compliments that our website is “easy to use”, you can get to almost anything on the site in less than three clicks — Now we can add to the list that making interaction OBVIOUS and EASY are keys to a successful website — This generates the opportunities businesses need to GROW, and we do want to and need to grow our business.
In some cases it can be argued that the design is over engineered, but a lot of those subtle things that are easy to overlook are what make it a good, highly functional, easy to use, and attractive design that gives an excellent impression of RTP Company to our customers and prospective customers — And what make it a successful marketing vehicle for RTP Company.
Thanks for all your work on our redesign project, and congratulations for helping us become more successful!
I hope I get the chance to work on another project that is both as fun and as rewarding as this one was. Thank you RTP Company.