The redesign of the Zumtobel US website was based on a customer feedback survey, which revealed comments such as: “Make it easy for us to sell and pitch your products. Your website is currently doing the opposite.” By working in parallel and partnering with the external agency Anton & Irene, a new, user-friendly website was completed in only four months with limited resources and a small team of six members: four internal (Zumtobel) and two external members (Anton & Irene).
The sheer size of the project and the limited amount of resources posed significant challenges. Internal sources estimated that the project would take one year for completion – time that we did not have. We were losing website traffic and losing customers, and needed an immediate solution. To tackle the task, our small internal team partnered with Brooklyn-based boutique agency Anton & Irene. Throughout the project, team members worked in parallel, with at least four people working on separate tasks at all times. In this way, we were able to complete the project with unprecedented quickness. As stated by Anton & Irene: “We did the entire site in 20 weeks worth of effort, but paralleled development so managed to get the whole thing done in about 4 months, which is insanely fast. With the right client, and the right development team, mountains can be moved in no time.”
The new website was designed to improve user experience and increase the number of specification sheet downloads. To do this, the site needed to meet three criteria: #1 Make it easy for our customers to work with our website; #2 Make the website unique and beautiful; #3 Make it possible to reach the specification sheet in 3 clicks (3-4 clicks is industry standard). The target audience included lighting designers, architects, lighting specifiers, and sales agents.
To improve the customer experience and meet the criteria set forth at project conception, the website implemented five distinctive features: a flattened hierarchy, intuitive categories, new branding, useful photography, and product comparability. In total, 3,960 files were identified, renamed, reorganized, created and loaded into the new content management system. 20,001 words were written, proofread, corrected, and transferred into the new system.
Navigation of the new website is based around the product – all products are now accessible from the home page. Inspirational application stories bring the product into context and link back to the product pages. Most importantly, specification sheets can now be reached within 2-3 clicks from any page on the website.
The entire site is built in HTML with responsive approach. A lot of time was spent perfecting the front-end (visual part) in code to make everything work super fast and utilize smooth transitions that enhance the overall experience while browsing the site. In addition to the site, a custom CMS was built using Python language to simplify the process of updating and adding new content. (From original interviews we knew that it was incredibly hard to add anything to the old site and only someone with knowledge of code could do this task).
Response to the new website has been overwhelmingly positive. Visitors on the site went from an average 9,059 sessions in the 2nd quarter to an average 31,654 sessions in the 3rd quarter (after website launch) – an increase of +249% of total sessions. Since that time, sessions have been stable at around 22,000. In addition, time spent on the new website increased by +353% in the 3rd quarter over the 2nd quarter. Customer comments give high praise for the new design: “We like it a lot. It is clean, simple, yet highly functional. The use of space and ratio of information to pictures is one of the best we’ve encountered.”
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- Project Lead Nikolaus Johannson (Zumtobel)
- Zumtobel Project Team Frederik Ropertz, Karianna Haasch, Mark Nowak
- User Experience Irene Pereyra (Anton & Irene)
- Art & Design Anton Repponen (Anton & Irene)