We provide web design for manufacturing companies. In this post, I’d like to show you a couple of our customers and go over how we serve and support them.
We’ve worked with both of these companies for many years and have worked exclusively remote throughout the entire relationship. That’s something we take pride in. Allowing our customers to get the quality manufacturing web design service and support that they need without having to depend on the local talent in their area.
Let’s begin with Dexter Magnetics based in Chicago, Illinois and Portland, Oregon.
Dexter Magnetics has been a Graticle customer for five years. Over those years, we’ve built three websites for them.
Their primary website targets North America, while their second website targets the European market. Their third website is their e-commerce website where they sell their products online.
For this post, we will stay focused on their North American website.
And before we go any further, here’s a picture of their website before we started helping them:
And their website we created for them as it stands today:
When Dexter Magnetics first contacted us about helping with their website, their existing website wasn’t in a good place. It was very difficult, if not impossible to manage the content. The website was full of bugs that they couldn’t fix, and it wasn’t adding any value to their business. In my opinion, it was more of a liability than anything. Not to mention, their website wasn’t even close to being mobile-friendly.
The challenge that the previous website also had was providing too much information to the visitor at one time. Overwhelming them. With the new website it was important that we provide the visitor with enough information and allow them to find what they’re interested in and then learn more. This thought process applies to web design and design in general. There’s always a balance between too much and not enough.
Take a frequently asked questions page for example. You have many questions and answers that you want to be able to provide your visitors, but you don’t want to overwhelm them. The visitors need to be able to find the question they have without wading through hundreds or thousands of other questions. Otherwise, the page is useless. No one will use it because they can’t find anything that they’re looking for. A way to alleviate this, is to have only the questions and not the answers listed by default. This is a great start, because the visitor can scroll through questions. If they find their question, they can click and expand to view the answer. To further organize this and allow visitors to find what they’re looking for, you can add categories. A visitor can find the category that they’re interested in and look at only questions that correspond to that category. You can also organize by subcategory and so on. This is a good example of how you can provide the ability for a visitor to find out exactly what they’re looking for, in an easier and less overwhelming way.
I’m going to move quickly through our process, but the below will give you a quick idea on how we work with our customers.
First, we start with the customer’s goals, strategies, etc. Again, this is brief, but we really dive into the details with all our customers in order to better understand their business and their customers.
We then move into wire framing each page design so that we focus on the important items and not the design of the page itself. We present each page to the customer and explain our rationale and strategy behind each page and how it aligns with their goals.
After we have wireframed each page, we move into design.
In the design stage, this is where we design each of the pages and features. This allows the customer to be able to see exactly what their website will look like.
It should also be noted that as we move through the wireframing and design stage, we are constantly revisiting the primary purpose/goal of the page and website itself. How does this page fit within the goal of the website? It’s important to always revisit these goals, otherwise pages and features can become meaningless, and distract from the primary goal of the website.
After all the pages have been designed and approved by the customer, we move into development. This is where we take the designs and turn them into reality on a staging server. When we’re finished developing the website, we allow the customer access to not only preview the website but also manage the content on the website. This allows the customer to be able to have their website finalized in a safe, private, and secure place. Once everything has been tested and approved, only then do we make the website live for the world to see.
We continually support Dexter Magnetics (and all three of their websites) by adding additional features, updating WordPress and WordPress plug-ins, and managing security for the website.
In this second example, I would like to share a website we created for a manufacturing company in Spokane, Washington called AccraFab.
When AccraFab reached out to us, they were in a similar situation as Dexter Magnetics. Their website was out-of-date, not mobile-friendly, and had almost no information on it. It wasn’t doing anything positive for the company.
Here’s a look at what the website used to look like:
Here’s a look at the website that we created for them:
I don’t want to go through our process again, as I already explained that in the Dexter Magnetics example above. What I will do is explain the intentionality behind various aspects of the website.
It was very important that the new website to better reflect the company and provide information to their customers online. As with any website it also needed to provide new sales opportunities.
During the project we made a dedicated effort to provide AccraFab’s services and capabilities to their visitors while at the same time organizing and simplifying this information.
You’ll see in the final website that organized hierarchical menu options were utilized.
Again, it was very important that AccraFab customers understood the breadth of services and capabilities that they provide. One tactic we used was at the bottom of each page there is the ability to click to the next related page to learn more about their specific services.
Often, manufacturing websites can be dry and purely informational. An online brochure of sorts. Those websites are not effective. We wanted this website to be engaging nad allow for new sales opportunities. One of the ways that we accomplished this was by having a contact form and picture of the director of that department available for customers to use. If someone has a quick question about the information that they’re looking at, they can easily send a message to the person in charge of that department. That’s extremely valuable for a visitor. It’s also valuable for the company because the person getting the message has the knowledge and expertise to answer the question. This quickens the response time between the company and the customer. Rather than a generic form that was sent to someone in the office, messages are sent to the correct person best suited to answer the question quickly and thoroughly.
The last feature I’d like to tell you about is the AccraFab Online Solution Center.
This is a membership portal for AccraFab’s customers. It allows their customers to view additional frequently asked questions, tips and tricks, project specifications, additional resources, review project management, and request a quote that is specific to the customer. A lot of the exclusive resources and information are available to customers in this portal to add value. The information is also proprietary so that way they can add value to their customers, while at the same time keep it hidden from their competitors.
We continue to support AccraFab by adding new features and pages to their website, updating WordPress, WordPress plug-ins and monitoring the website security.
It should also be noted that their website (and Dexter Magnetics) is built on WordPress. We’ve customized WordPress to allow the staff at AccraFab to update the website themselves. This saves them time and money and allows them to be in the driver’s seat of their online presence.