Shockingly under budget.
We were approached by Duke Electric, a local company serving some of the biggest players in heavy industry, to produce a responsive, easy-to-update website that could support e-commerce. With almost 10,000+ products on their existing site—and more to be added—we had our work cut out for us. Thanks to the Agile project management approach, we finished the job on time and well under budget.
RESPONSIVE E-COMMERCE WEBSITE
THE BIG PICTURE
We designed a fully responsive, easy-to-update product-oriented website on the WordPress content management system for a local company serving some of the biggest players in heavy industry. With almost 10,000 products on the site—and more to be added—we had our work cut out for us. But thanks to our Agile project management approach, we finished the job on time and well under budget.
“We need a mobile-friendly website that we can update ourselves. And we want to eventually offer e-commerce.”
“Sure, a catalogue website needs to be updated frequently. But you also need intuitive information architecture—because if customers can’t find what they’re looking for, it doesn’t matter that you carry it.”
With 10,000 products on the current site, even the client didn’t know what was buried in there.
THE AH-HA MOMENT
Complex projects with lots of unknowns can easily drag on, resulting in budget overages and blown deadlines. Not so with Agile. We knew we’d be able to save time and increase the client’s ability to shape the project by moving directly to a working prototype that the client could give feedback on.
Every project has unknowns. But this one had 10,000 more than usual. That’s where being Agile comes in real handy.
You never know less about a project than when you start. That’s why we needed to be agile.
“Agile” projects are based on close client collaboration. They’re facilitated by self-managed teams of subject area experts. And they’re iterative: smaller parts of a project are released for feedback before moving onto the next part. The team was briefed on the business goals, marketing objectives and technical requirements of the website and took it from there.
Agile forces us to always put the client’s goals first. That means decisions are based on what the client needs, and what the user wants.
A website redo may have consequences on a company’s search engine ranking.
Duke had invested heavily in search engine optimization on its existing site and didn’t want that money to be wasted. We knew there were some issues with the way information was organized on Duke’s current site but major site architecture changes would impact SEO. Being strategic about the changes meant we could make the site easier for the visitor to use while preserving most of Duke’s original SEO investment.
AGILE TEAMS BREAK IT DOWN. AND WE’RE NOT TALKING ABOUT ON THE DANCE FLOOR.
The team saved time by skipping the wireframe and page mockup steps, but that meant they “released” four different versions of the home page to make sure the look and feel, navigation and specific content was on target. The team was a quick study, applying the learning from these four releases to future pages, which only required a single release.
Users see pictures and read product descriptions. But what goes on behind the scenes is much more important to whether their experience on a site is fabulous…or frustrating.
Duke eventually wanted an e-commerce website, where users could find, order and pay for their product or part in a single visit. E-commerce isn’t a simple down-the-road add-on. It needs to be built into the solution from the get-go. In fact, the e-commerce solution the team selected actually handles the whole catalogue of products and parts in the back end of the site today, even though customers won’t be able to buy items off the site until tomorrow.
The team had to ensure flawless logic was used to establish relationships between products, parts and brands for e-commerce to work properly. They also had to create multiple page types to deal with inconsistency in the different products. Some had 30 or more parts. Others had lengthy feature descriptions. Still others had links to brochures and operating manuals that visitors could download.
DURATION OF PROJECT
3 months (from kick-off to go live)
TOTAL HOURS BUDGETED
TOTAL HOURS BILLED
- Custom responsive website built on the WordPress platform
- Image sourcing and creation
- Information architecture
- E-commerce functionality (Woo Commerce)
- SEO assessment and report
- SEO strategy and implementation
- Custom content migration from old website
- Client training for ongoing data entry and content population
It doesn’t get much better than on time and under budget.
The website project progressed so efficiently that Duke was able to use remaining budget to bring the product list up-to-date. Even given this increase in scope, the project still cost less than initially predicted.