WD-40 Company and products website lift was my second job at AMBA Communications. It was in its first stages when I arrived but the team had a good grasp of what content they wanted to include, what it should not be (boring…) and that it should be a WordPress website. Coca-Cola was doing it. IBM was doing it. We would do it too.
My role was to convert the extensive knowledge the creative and account management team had about the client, the product and the audience into digital assets and strategy.
The agency had limited knowledge in digital products, so, we started by having catalyst chats and quick over-the-shoulder workshops in order to have everybody familiarised with the distinctions between traditional and new media. The in-house developer was THE most excited about the culture transformation, until now being the only HTML speaking person in the house.
Introducing more exploration tools was fun. We created a sort of board game for user-flow exercises. A blast! Also, quite a few of us took on coloured sticky notes and Sharpies and fully engaged in turning walls into Mondrian-like insight displays.
Once I collected enough information and felt like my systems were accepted and trusted, I moved into the more technically demanding assets, and prepared templates for content inventory for WD-40 previous and competitor websites, comparative sitemaps and keyword matrix. Working closely with the creative director, we devised a comprehensive content plan, which we then used for sitemaps, wireframes and copywriting briefs.
Next would be interface and interaction design.
WordPress as framework is quite accommodating but we were coming from a pretty humble digital culture, so, we chose to have a rather simple website and planned to saved a few features, such as video player, parallax animation, social media integration and inbound marketing to a near future – progressive disclosure turned on ourselves!
In parallel to the new website, a whole range of other communication assets were in production, such as point-of-sale displays, retail brochures, advertising campaigns and even seasonal blue-and-yellow cans.
But my favorite, by far, was the bus wrap. It’s quite a thing to see your illustration wrapped around a bus cruising by the town. It even got a few award nominations.
Win 1: The WD-40 Company was so pumped by the process and outcome that, by the time the website was launched, we were already planning the next upgrade (which is the current version with content updates). We had a significant increase in organic search, returning viewers and time spent on the site, hence the very positive response from the head quarter in USA finally handing over complete control over the website to the Australia/New Zealand marketing team, lifting most of the restrictions we had before, allowing for a real ‘Aussie rules’ game.
Win 2: The agency grew stronger and more confident in delivering digital products. We now had our own dedicated digital team: an account/project manager, an in-house front-end developer, a back-end developer and a digital designer – yours truly.
Win 3: From then on I was included in every briefing session for campaigns with potential for digital media so that I could help identifying opportunities as well as friction points for media agnostic concepts.
Creative Director: Lyndel Donaldson
Art Director: Sio Ifopo
Designer: Jason Watts
Designer: Aylin Celebioglu
Designer: Alex Francisco
Front-end Developer: Marvin Cho
Back-end Developer: Luke Stevenson
From reading encyclopaedias to fixing machines that build car engines. The duo ‘why+how‘ play on repeat 24/7 in my mind. No surprise I ended up as a designer. Pencil to pixel since 2002.
Copyright © 2002-2020 Alex Francisco. All rights.