20 Years Old 1995-2005

Responsive Web Design for Manufacturer

Responsive web design sets prototype manufacturer apart from the competition.

Craft Pattern and Mold is a prototype manufacturer of plastic and metal parts in Montrose, Minnesota. Craft was in need of a new website. Its old one just wasn't getting the job done. The design was old and the content management was limited. Craft needed a custom website design to better portray its brand and services. It also realized the value of reaching mobile customers, so it wanted to implement a responsive web design.

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Project Challenge

Craft Pattern and Mold did not feel that it was using its website to promote its prototyping services to the best of its ability. This prototype manufacturer also felt that the website could be used more effectively as tool to recruit new clients and better market its services. The website would focus mainly on providing a great user experience, for all devices. In order to provide a great user experience on the mobile web too, we would implement a responsive web design. Our job as Craft's technology consultant was to dive deeper into these challenges to discover an adequate solution for this manufacturer website.

Discovery

After meeting with the owner and some of the staff in charge of enhancing Craft's website, we determined what was needed for a solution that would better display Craft's prototyping services. We laid the foundation for a custom website design, that would be a responsive design; as well as some custom website development that would make this a great online marketing asset.

A custom website design would help to showcase Craft's services and facilities, while instantly letting clients know that it is a reputable and professional company. Businesses and individuals are doing ALL of their research online these days, especially Craft reall understood the importance of being able to reach their customers better online.

The next challenge was to determine the best method for reaching the manufacturer's mobile clients. We decided on implementing a responsive web design over a separate mobile site to keep all of Craft's content consistent. This would optimize the website for not only deskop use, but mobile use from tablets and smartphones as well.

In order to turn this website into a marketing hub, we also implemented a WordPress blog so that Craft could post project overviews, industry news, and more.

Design

As we entered the design phase, we looked at the layout of the home page and the elements that needed to go into it for brand and service recognition, as well as quick and easy access to important content. As we laid out the page, we found ways to incorporate aesthetic design elements that accentuated the company's brand and professional photography. We also thought it was important to include main content highlights of the firm's various services, as well as links to more information about each branch of the business.

Craft has a variety of different prototyping services, so we wanted to provide instant access to more information about these different offerings. So, we included links in the main navigation to each. Users can then click the link to go to an internal page offering more information about the specific service.

Aside from promoting all of its services, we also wanted to provide a way to promote other industry/company related information. We included a blog feed on the left side bar of the homepage that would give users instant access to Craft's most recent blog posts.

A large hero image at the top of the homepage would give this website a step up from the competiton, and really modernize its look and feel. We really wanted to bring the website to life with amazing photography of Craft's facilities, which included an on-site foundry. Choosing a protoype manufacturer requires trust, we wanted to give users a feeling trust and credibility, while showing off Craft's uniqueness.

Implementation

Once the design phase was finished, we implemented the custom design templates into our content management system and started in on the development phase. The Site Management Console (SMC) allows our website developers to efficiently build apps and plug-ins that are integrated into the website.

The custom development portion that went into the website was pretty straight forward, in that we just needed to implement a WordPress blog and a custom image gallery. However, a separate project was spurred from the website, which included implementing a file upload website application for easy communication between the client and Craft. Craft's clients often have to send very large CAD files to Craft. Sometimes, these are hard to send via email and are often stored on multiple computers, or hard to access areas. The file upload app would allow customers to easily upload files to their project page, where Craft could then access, tweak, and re-upload a new file for client feedback.

We also implemented a custom image gallery into every internal page so that the admin of the website could be easily upload related images.The basic plug-ins allows even non-technical users to easily update images and content on every page of the website.

Results

Recruiting new clients was the number one goal of this website design project. A responsive web design implemented on the SMC laid the foundation for Craft to get better online results.

The website has given Craft a great marketing tool and, and so far they have done a great job of using it to its fullest potential. They have quality content throughout the site and have kept up with their industry blog. The file upload has also been a great success. It has made uploading and sharing files between client and Craft much easier.

This website should give them the tools to convert interested users into converted clients, and keep them coming back for more. The design is aesthetically pleasing and the content is informative and engaging. Customers can now access the site while on the go from a tablet or smartphone, which is a must for websites these days.

What Our Customers Are Saying...

The staff at Five Technology has been wonderful to work with. They are receptive to the needs of the school district and willing to work within our budget. They have gone above and beyond to make sure we are satisfied with the product they are delivering.

Traci Lawman, Delano Public Schools

Wow, the transition to the new system was seamless. Kudos to everyone that worked this out. Thank you very much!

Vicki Adney, Reck Agri

My goal is to double revenue from the site in the next 2 years. Now that Five Technology has built me this powerful portal management web application, I am able to streamline the process of publishing content.

Paul Taylor III, SurvivingMold.com

We have had many comments from our community on the ease of use of navigation and they really have enjoyed the new look and layout. Our staff certainly has benefited as we have used the website more and more as a communication device to our school patrons. I look forward to taking full advantage of the student section for our classes, hopefully next year.

Paul Ludwig, Delano Public Schools