Marketing websites pose an almost universal challenge at companies of all sizes. Who manages it? Who updates it? Who designs it? How often do you update it? What platform should it be built on? How do you know if it’s working? These are just a few of the questions you’ve likely heard or asked yourself.
A common scenario will feature a dejected marketing team that can’t even independently fix a copy typo, a development team unhappily getting pulled off product work, and founders frustrated by the lack of progress on their pride and joy, the company virtual window display – the marketing site.
A marketing team making independent updates to the website sounds like a simple need, but what are we really talking about? Brand strength, content strategy, visitor experience, lead conversion, sales enablement. We’re talking about all things marketing that contribute to achieving your business goals.
Web design and development companies like thoughtbot are not immune to these challenges and usually face one of two website challenges – 1) the site is super simple, a few pages, and never really gets updated. Or 2) many different designers and developers are building on the site independently without consistency or a centralized strategy.
I’ve faced these scenarios as a marketing leader at companies large and small including with our very own thoughtbot.com. But last year we went through a redesign process in which I learned things that will forever change my approach to websites and design. With some phenomenal colleagues including our Chief Design Officer, we took a design-led, user-first approach to re-envisioning what thoughtbot.com is and what it’s goals are.
In the process, we developed brand guidelines, voice and tone docs, a design system, transitioned to the Prismic CMS, developed a content workflow built on the Jobs-to-be-done framework, and refocused the site around clear business objectives.
The results are positive and we’re eager to share our learnings and processes with you so you can benefit from our work.
I’m dedicating this one to anyone who’s ever received an URGENT text, email, or DM that reads “There’s a typo on the homepage!”