Creating a sophisticated and dynamic website with an equally sophisticated back end.
Global Strategy Group (GSG) is an international public affairs, communications and research firm. Clients include major corporations, nonprofits and foundations, trade associations and political campaigns.
As UX Designer at Periscope Creative, a small interactive agency, I was charged with unearthing and directing all the moving parts involved in making an effective interactive experience. This included research, analysis, creative direction, interaction design and testing.
Global Strategy Group was touting themselves as experts in digital marketing and strategy while their own website sat static, dated and basically dead. Employees on all levels were embarrassed to direct people there when handing out business cards. Everyone agreed that having such an essential element of communication so out of alignment with the company’s inner workings was a crucial issue that needed to be resolved.
We went on-site for two half-days interviewing stakeholders from CEOs to data analysts. During this time I uncovered what made clients choose GSG over their competitors and gained an intricate understanding of the internal systems and talent that made them so successful.
I took some initial, somewhat dated, branding work and built an updated and expanded system that would resonate with the new type of client they were attempting to attract. This included brand values, photo direction, color palette, typographic styles and an icon system.
Global Strategy Group was not lacking for content. They had great stories to tell and a clear vision of who they were that didn’t vary much from person to person during our stakeholder interviews. Everyone on the team had a hunger for consuming and sharing news and information. I set up a collaborative document which made it easy for the team to relate content, track progress and gain the perspective of the bird’s eye view.
With a heavily customized (and quite elegant) WordPress back-end, GSG could manage and relate virtually every piece of content to each other and bridge meaningful connections between profiles, case studies, products, pages, and blog posts. This gave a massive boost to their SEO and social media efforts and distributed the workload from the marketing department to a company-wide team.
By working together harmoniously, we were able to create a website which strategically positioned GSG as a leader in corporate, public, and political affairs and highlighted their impressive client list while retaining a simple and usable navigation with a complex network of content relationships.
What I Learned
The end product has as much to do, if not more, with the relationships, systems and structures in place behind it than the skin on top of it. By taking the time to understand the reality of what was happening behind the scenes and weaving the entire staff into our process, we ended up with a product that aligned with their brand and thrived well beyond launch date because the staff was on board, breathing life into it.
What They Said
We’ve worked with Periscope on two projects now and they create amazing websites. Our old site didn’t really do our firm justice. It was static and lacked any movement or warmth. The site they designed for us is modern, engaging, and really helps us showcase our staff – the reason anyone would hire us. We’ve already received rave reviews from inside and outside the firm. Content spreads throughout the site beautifully and it’s easy to keep the outside world up to date with GSG and our clients. We think this site is a much more accurate reflection of our agency and our passion.