Almost nine months of highly concentrated work are over and we are proud to present the new effective world homepage. Employees from all our offices, which are spread over three continents, have worked closely together for our relaunch. In future we will not only be able to more than fulfil our own aspirations to be a “global player”, but can also provide our customers with better service and respond to requests faster than ever before. Our Corporate Marketing Director, Yi Wu-Blumenschein, gave us a brief interview in which she describes the innovations and improvements on the new homepage.
Interview: Yi Wu-Blumenschein, Corporate Marketing Director of the effective world group.
Ms. Wu-Blumenschein, why was the relaunch of the effective world website necessary and what were your objectives?
As a company founded in Mannheim, our previous website was perceived to be rather European or German. But since we are operating globally, we thought that our internationality should also be represented on our homepage. Furthermore, the old website no longer met our own quality standards. We therefore decided to focus on four aspects for the redesign:
a more international design
the development of an icon system
- a responsive web design and
- a re-evaluation of the content
Why did you develop an icon system?
For effective world, this means a presentation which is internationally and interculturally comprehensible. With this goal in mind, an international team under the supervision of our Shanghai based designer, Miss Wenwei Li, developed the new layout. Because of her long web design experience in the B2B- and B2C-Sector with international clients, Miss Wenwei Li was able to create important design elements that are easily understood in every country. She was also able to anticipate and avoid any possibly problematic programming issues. Our Mannheim-based technical team was responsible for the implementation of the new design. Of course our work was not finished there; before the Go-Live the team had to test the understandability, the usability and the acceptance of the website by the relevant markets. Even after the relaunch we still are in a constant process of optimization.
Why did you develop an icon system?
The advantage of good icons is that they are more intuitive than text and therefore more easily understood. The specific challenge in our case was how to ensure that our icons would be comprehensible everywhere in the world.
And where did this, let’s call it “icon idea”, come from?
Well, our strategy was to promote the global brand “effective” more vigorously than before. Previously each office had been identified by its own colour and we felt we were missing a connecting element. The connection is now clearly represented in the new icon system, since all icons are in our corporate color. On the one hand you can see the autonomy of each office, and on the other hand, its connection to the effective world group. And since this idea worked so well, we decided to apply the icon system to all of our Business Units and social media networks. Each one now has its own, but consistently “effective green”, symbol.
Let’s talk about the responsive design. Why was this important for the new website?
The classic desktop-PC is slowly becoming a dinosaur. Nowadays more and more people use notebooks, tablets or smartphones. This means that websites can be displayed in a lot of different formats and resolutions.
It was very important to us that the layout of our homepage stays the same and the proportions of its elements do not change, no matter what device is being used or in which language the website is being displayed.
The aesthetics of the homepage, its readability and the technical aspects had to be considered not only for Chinese, Korean and French, but also for Farsi and Arabic. I believe that our new website shows that we have managed to find excellent solutions to these challenges; even though, for usability reasons, we have had to restrict the resolution length to 1600 Pixel.
What do you mean exactly when you say that you re-evaluated the content on your homepage?
Our goal for the new website was: more practice, less theory. To this end we have intentionally given priority to our blog, case studies and projects in order to highlight our work and our expertise as well as the practical benefits for our customers.
The multilingual content of the website also underlines our core competence as an international company. Our homepage is available in 14 different languages, each of which was selected because at least one full-time employee can speak the language as his/her native tongue and we can therefore respond to queries or requests in-house. Incidentally, six of these languages are the official language in the countries where we have offices and the complete content of our website will be available in these languages, including our blog and case studies.
In addition, the visual content will play a more important role in the future. To make our homepage a more vivid experience, we have increased the number of our design staff. The team are preparing more innovative and diverse multimedia content for the website. This is currently an ongoing process – more will be revealed in the next newsletter!
When thinking back, is there anything about the relaunch which makes you especially proud?
To go online with a website in 14 languages, to organize the design, the programming and the content will always be a huge task. The fact that we achieved this with the active involvement of 20 colleagues in eight offices makes me especially proud. As the person in charge, I would like to thank all the members of our marketing, technical and design teams who jointly made this possible. Even though we had a lot of customer projects during this time which, needless to say, always take priority, their efforts were unstinting.
To give you a little preview of what our online communication is going to look like from now on, I proudly present our first “new” post, a video clip on the subject of “Relaunch Management”.