The Website Relaunch Survival Guide: Executing a Creative Redesign
by Tom Bianchi, VP EMEA Marketing, Acquia, on 29 April, 2021
How Acquia worked with Third and Grove to create a new creative design and vision for the refreshed Acquia.com.
One of the most exciting and striking parts of any website relaunch project is creating a new front-end site design that totally transforms the overall user experience. Content architecture, data models and migration testing are all essential in laying a strong foundation for your website transformation. But without a good design and site flow, visitors won’t stick around to discover everything your company has to offer. At Acquia, we’ve always believed that Drupal offers the best of both worlds in terms of functional and beautiful digital experiences. With our vision for the new Acquia.com on Drupal 9, we wanted to show the power of open source technology like Drupal to meet technical and security requirements and provide limitless potential to be creative with what you can dream and build.
Partnering with Third and Grove to build beautiful Drupal experiences
Acquia is lucky to have an exceptional partner network of the world’s best creative agencies, digital innovators and ambitious technologists. Digital agency Third and Grove (T&G) has been a preferred partner of Acquia’s for over six years now, and has a well-earned reputation for their Drupal expertise. After partnering with the Third and Grove team on numerous website refresh projects including King Arthur Baking, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and many others, we were confident in choosing Third and Grove to design the next version of Acquia.com.
Some elements we worked with T&G on in the redesign were to create a component-based design system that allow us to create an entire suite of mix and match components that could build different types of pages. These components worked to create a more personalised and relevant experience. We wanted to introduce more dynamic content elements and blend together visuals and text to flow effortlessly from one section to the next. For example, we incorporated things like multi-layered graphics and statistics on top of our case studies pages, which added a more textured and memorable look. Each element of this design allowed us to show our audience that a Drupal site does not have to be static or basic; we wanted to defy expectations about the type of things organisations can make when they choose Drupal.
Improving user experience and site navigation
Third and Grove also conducted a thorough technical audit across our old website to determine where the majority of web traffic came from and identify any issues with traffic flow, broken pages or hidden content. Part of this technical evaluation also meant analysing the current SEO rankings on the site to determine areas for optimisation.
Beyond things like metadata and URL structure, we also paid attention to the structure and layout of the actual pages on the website itself, because this has a big impact on SEO rankings. The easier a site is for people to use and quickly locate the information they need, the more appealing the site will be to search engine algorithms as well. So, if pages have high bounce rates and poor click-through rates, search engines will see that as a bad user experience and the site’s ranking will take a hit.
After completing their technical evaluation, Third and Grove advised Acquia’s development team on how to create a more organised site experience and simplify the site navigation. This involved creating a new menu with more user-centric language. So, operational pages such as the “Careers'' section were moved to the site’s footer, while educational pages were prioritised in the header. We did this to help visitors and prospects answer their questions faster without having to wade through a bunch of background information into business operations.
Transforming a creative vision into action
Since the start, a huge motivation behind the relaunch of Acquia.com was to portray our own product story not by showing, but by doing. We wanted to demonstrate the value of the different tools in our digital experience platform (DXP) portfolio by incorporating these capabilities both in the site-building process and throughout the site itself in order to “drink our own champagne,” as our CMO Lynne Capozzi would say. That’s when the idea for Acquia in Action was born.
Acquia in Action is a video series that offers a glimpse behind the curtain of the entire website relaunch process for creating the new Acquia.com. Members of our web development and marketing teams filmed themselves working to create and publish different elements to the website in real time, using our own technology. By clicking on any of the pulsating pink dots in the left corner of a webpage, visitors see an instructional video of an Acquian creating content live, not within a staged demo environment. As one of our team members narrates the process in real time, researchers and potential customers can get a direct impression of how they could use these products to serve their own digital experience efforts.
Some examples of where we’ve placed Acquia in Action content across the website include our homepage, where Site Studio was used to simplify the front-end layout and on our Campaign Studio product page, where visitors will find a video of how we recreated all of our forms for gated assets and registrations using Campaign Studio’s easy-to-apply fields.
All of these creative enhancements weave the story of our experience with our own products. We wanted to showcase our confidence in our ability to serve users’ needs, no matter what goals they have for their current and future digital experiences. To learn more about how to do your own Drupal migration and website relaunch, get our e-book: The Developer’s Guide to Website Redesign.