As a designer who believes that each problem deserves its own solution, I’m quite sceptical when I browse web agency’s portfolios and I see only WordPress websites with standard themes.
I know that some of them have multiple settings for customisation, but still that is a compromise: to me it looks like that the real needs are size down to the shape of the solution provided by the theme.
Here’s the difference between a pure web designer and a UX designer with an experience in web coding: the first one adapts, the second one shapes.
In the following section I’ll show three examples of UX applied to web design, so that the requirements of each stakeholders was satisfied. At the core of each one there a deep analysis of the corporate values on which the whole website was based.
Some things these three projects have in common are:
- a huge amount of data to be preserved
- migration from multiple CMS into a single WordPress installation
- easy to be regularly update
- open platform to add additional features in the future
Fondazione Nicola Trussardi
This has been a really interesting project. The client, a private contemporary art foundation focused on temporary installations, needed a new website as the previous one was made in a custom CMS, which was slow and hard to update. Another request was to find a way to keep the homepage dynamic even if the website is updated only twice per year.
They asked for WordPress, to not being locked to a single provider, but also required many features, even a premium theme wasn’t capable of.
Some interesting aspect of this site are:
- A rational and light template, so that no extra creativity would have affected the artistic content.
- A custom developed homepage, with a dedicated control panel, to let the client change the structure and the content without external plugins, using only standard WordPress core functions
- Managing four different content types, bu allow a similar and coherent structure to both the fronted visual and the backed edit panel
- Developed in less than 4 weeks to be ready before an important event
This website has been a real challenge as it integrates the data from two different WordPress websites into one, with four custom content types, a huge amount of news and clients.
In this case the theme aesthetic was also designed in-house, starting from the idea to use the same images for both slider and background: this not only creates a remarkable visual effect, but it also increase the speed performance of the website, as it is the same image to be loaded once and used twice.
The clients page has been tough: it implements a custom developed AJAX integration, to dynamically fill the page with clients logo, based on the selection of two dropdown menus, which are also dynamically updated.
The main challenge of this website was to shape a meaningful information architecture plan to host a complex and consistent amount of contents, without specific target groups or kind of content.
In order to provide useful ways to get into the right page both a mega-menu and a landing area have been implemented. The mega-menu allow to browse the contents of each area by holding the mouse over the desired menu label; in the homepage the visitor is welcomed and shown with a list of services ordered by the most common needs which are required.
Both the homepage and the News page are structured with horizontal sections in order to host many content of different kind still preserving the rational and well structured appearence, in coherence with the corporate values: integration, method, avanguardie.