The Better Social Business BlogJournalizing work in the trenches of all things web, social & interactive
On 10, Apr 2011
RMC was contacted by a local marketing agency, Connelly Works in Herndon, Virginia who needed to partner with a web services provider for a web technology project for one of its clients, Lohfeld Consulting Group (Lohfeld). The marketing agency provided RMC with various wireframes (see below) and needed our company to use the defined framework to create the web design interface for Lohfeld.
The goal of the collaboration with the marketing firm was to assist them in creating an improved web site for Lohfeld that included a content management system and a blog.
The broad scope of this project contained the following components:
- Web design & creative execution to showcase company’s strength and expertise
- Includes concept construction out of two design options: (a) mirror-image of client wireframes and (b) RMC’s own interpretation of client wireframes
- Implementation of user centric navigation methods
- Social media integration to enable social media marketing practices
- Deployment of a content management system (CMS) to enable addition and updating of dynamic content to the web site
- Inclusion of a subscription feature
- Project management
- Quality assurance testing
- Training documentation & training support
The open-source solutions we worked with during this project were Drupal and WordPress. Due to the client’s unique needs for publishing and distributing content, we had some unique and extensive customization work during this project to make sure that the WordPress blog component was “talking” to other features on the web site.
There were various interface design challenges related to this project:
- We were required to work with the clients existing brand and identity which was, in our view, dated and top-heavy
- Along the same vein, we had to work with the client’s brand colors of aqua blues, magentas and grays
- Our team also had to create the web design interface screens for the site following the wireframe designs created by a third-party
Of the challenges above, the most difficult was having to create the web design interface screens for the site following the wireframe designs created by a third-party. Why? Well, because while well intended, the wireframes produced were not entirely 100% feasible for web design. Additionally, the wireframe process is one that should include, not exclude, your web design partner.
Despite these challenges, however, we did the best we could and came up with the following concept based on the wireframes provided:
[ Above: home page wireframe provided ]
[ Above: Our literal interpretation of the home page wireframe provided above. ]
We also provided a second version or design option to provide Lohfeld with a really strong contrast:
In the end, after much internal debate and discussion over several weeks, the Lohfeld team’s final decision for design interface is below:
While the Lohfeld client defined every color hue and placement of content, the final interface shown above is a strong derivative of our original second option.
After close collaboration with Lohfeld, RMC was able to help the client finalize specific interface design details. Thereafter, development of the actual web site and its content management features began. Along the way, client had the ability to provide feedback, reviews and approvals. The end result is now an open-source, Drupal-based CMS which allows client to maintain all their content directly, thus saving them time and resources.
“I was so proud that you and your team could pull this project off, ” shared Joanne Connelly, President of Connelly Works. “No matter the challenges you faced, you completed the project and successfully launched the web site on behalf of our client. Thank you for being so easy to work with and for your continued and reliable support during this web project adventure.”
Customized Training for Staff
Post the site launch, RMC was responsible for training the Lohfeld staff on the various features of their new content-managed site using Drupal.
We also held a second, extensive training for instructing the staff on how to administer their blog using their customize version of WordPress.
In between professional engagements, Mayra guest blogs and contributes content regularly to a number of publications both in and outside the Washington DC metro area. Mayra is also the editor of The Better Social Business Blog, "Pet Tech" columnist for the Virginia Maryland Dog Magazine, contributes an “e-Trends” column to the Loudoun Business Journal and is founder of the Loudoun Fairfax Local Bloggers Meetup group which mentors and helps local bloggers network, learn and exchange ideas.