What Goes Into Planning a Responsive Redesign?
7 Questions With Eliassen Group
Editor’s Note: Today’s blog post comes from Eliassen Group Web Designer Kyle Dooley and Media Manager Paul Fleming Jr., who recently discussed why the 19th largest IT staffing firm in the country, headquartered in Wakefield, Mass., elected to construct a new corporate website focused on responsive design. Here at Percussion, we were happy to assist our friends at Eliassen Group in their effort.
Why did Eliassen Group choose to build a website based on responsive design?
Kyle’s answer: “The technologies in place were not reaching all of our constituencies, which was why we needed to make a substantial change. The mobile market is swelling, and a lot of the people we need to communicate with daily are interacting with others on their smartphones, tablets, etc. We needed an ‘all-in-one’ solution to reach our audience. The idea was to park all of our content on one platform and have it structured for equal distribution to everyone.”
What was Eliassen Group’s biggest challenge during the development process?
Kyle’s answer: “The first challenge was constructing a fluid grid around the content we already had that was going to be brought over and placed on our new website. The second challenge was getting our audience to self-identify from the home page, so a navigation tree could be built from the inside out. Last, but perhaps most importantly, we had to compress two websites’ worth of content into one distinct platform. We went from 256 total pages to under 50.” (At the time Eliassen Group was building its new website, the company was also changing the name of its subsidiary Clovis to its corporate parent. That’s why Kyle had to deal with so many pages of content, early on in the process. – Paul)
Can you describe the persona work that went on during the construction?
Kyle’s answer: “By building out the Personas for each line of our business, it really helped us pull the flow of our website less in the direction of what WE thought it should be, and more in the direction of what our clients craved and wanted to see. That was vitally important, and remains so, as the website continues to evolve to meet the needs of our audience.”
How much attention did you pay to the input you received from the members of Eliassen Group’s sales team that are responsible for driving the company’s lines of business?
Kyle’s answer: “From a content perspective, a significant amount. From a UX perspective, it was taking what they were saying and translating it into an experience that was accessible for our lines of business. “It was an interesting exercise. We had content coming from our seven service areas–Technology Staffing, Agile Consulting, Life Sciences Consulting, Workforce Management, Data Solutions, Government Services, and Healthcare IT–that had to be translated and made accessible to all. All of that content had to be ‘line specific,’ but all-reaching at the same time. Not to mention, it also had to be put onto the pages of the site in a tone that would be informative first and soothing second, to our future visitors.”
What was the testing environment like during the developmental phase of the project?
Kyle’s answer: “The testing environment began with working prototypes of what we thought we wanted the website to be upon completion. From there, it was taking those wire-framed prototypes and putting them into pre-production skeletons in CM1. Then it was all about the tests, which were done through multiple programs on multiple screens, using programs like Browser Stack to solidify how the underlying framework reacted in each browser. Following that, all content was placed into each of the templatesand onto the pages. The process concluded with more testing, to determine if all of the text was being brought in clean and was a suitable match for our new style sheet.”
What did you enjoy the most about building Eliassen Group’s new website?
Kyle’s answer: “Honestly, it was being able to bring in people who would give unbiased feedback about what we were doing right and wrong as the process was underway. That pushed all of us at Eliassen Group to develop the website into what it is today.”
How important was it to have support from the Percussion team during this process?
Kyle’s answer: “Working with Percussion was great because I was never afraid to break stuff and start from scratch during the process, because I always knew I had the support I needed to forge ahead and go through the electronic brick walls that would occasionally crop up. It was great working with such a supportive group.”
Paul is the Media Relations Director for Eliassen Group. Prior to joining Eliassen Group, he served as the media relations director for a state law enforcement agency in Massachusetts.
He began his media career as a member of the Fourth Estate, where he was part of the Pulitzer Prize winning staff of the Eagle-Tribune newspaper.