John Wardle Architects web site of approximately 6 years required an immediate overhaul, as the site no longer could service the brand nor its users. The site did not represent the multifaceted rich aspects of the practice. The site represented stasis rather than a launching point for activity or as a reference of knowledge. A site that does not evolve with its users supported by new technologies is at risk of appearing as a shadow rather a vibrant hub of activity.
For JWA to design a new site a number of research stages were required. The analysis of the digital brand and an analysis of its users required drilling down to specific user needs. Does a student or a journalist or an architect require different information and if so what forms does this take?
Studies in consumer competition and existing best practices were profiled. This aspect was accompanied by an analysis of the front-end attributes. Back-end functions were all reviewed as the function and continual update by internal staff was vital. Simple case study analyses such as Website Direction boards were created, with Likes, Dislikes, Aims, Audience, Aesthetic directions and Content directions. In negotiating with third party coders and designers we created a social media overview to allow the Design firm to understand the direction that JWA proposed. Managing the external suppliers and the internal visions of the partners was a process of concept iteration supported by design direction as a series of working meetings. The design and the CMS had to work in synergy. Ease of use in conjunction with reinforcement of the brand resulted in a successful launch with positive feedback. I have recommended user testing for a period of 2 months in order to review patterns of use and types of use. From this data we envisage new updates and improvements.