Our collaboration with SSAB began in 2013 when we were tasked with building their website which was already mostly designed. Shortly after, we identified some pain points in the design and like SSAB we have the ambition to continuously improve for the better.
A thorough analysis revealed some common problems with the website. From an internal perspective, editing and building webpages required significant time and was complex. Additionally, SSAB are continuously improving and developing new products which require both updates on websites as well as some new product data. There was therefore a need to simplify and increase the efficiency of the editing process.
From a user perspective, the brand experience on the website needed enhancement. With multiple sub-brands and various websites, SSAB aimed to make it easier for customers to recognize each brand and associate them with the main brand. Furthermore, other common UX concerns like improving the navigation and decluttering the websites were required.
Optimizing internal processes
To address these challenges, we developed a framework in Sitecore to be able to utilize any component for all brands and all sites. Our goal was to make the editing process smoother and more effective, and always ensure the correct branding. With all the necessary tools available within the framework, this is much like SXA (Sitecore Experience Accelerator). The components serve as a foundation to all SSAB´s webpages and can be seamlessly integrated with external systems.
Take, for example, our form component, which allows consented data to be directly transmitted to the salesforce and generate leads in their CRM systems. This enables the website, built using the components from the framework, to integrate with third-party systems and connect gathered data from website to various external systems.
Additionally, we also developed a unique product information system called PIA (Product Information Archive) within Sitecore. PIA holds all the necessary product data and is responsible for generating both datasheets as well as the product information on the webpages. By centralizing the product information system within Sitecore, editors benefit from having all the relevant information in one place, eliminating the need to navigate multiple systems. Consequently, this streamlined approach reduces the time required to build new webpages or update the website with the latest product data.
Guidelines for brand experience
In addition, we established a color scheme for each sub-brand to differentiate them while maintaining a consistent thread that associates them with SSAB. We created design guidelines for editors to follow and that specify for example what colors, typography and component combinations belong to each brand. The purpose of the guidelines is to simplify the work for editors and ensure brand consistency across all websites and webpages, enhancing the brand experience.
To further emphasize SSAB´s brand identity and sub-brands, we decluttered the websites and improved the navigation for a more straightforward and coherent user experience. The navigation incorporates brand-specific colors, ensuring that brand identity follows users throughout each webpage. See figures:
SSAB collaborates with different agencies worldwide, and these guidelines provide a foundation for their design work. Designers can see and use all components that have been developed, which in turn makes it easy for editors to set up the pages. This reduces the time required to set up new webpages or campaigns and enriches the user experience with consistent layouts and easy navigation.
This framework has optimized the editing process, not only by facilitating faster changes and the creation of new product webpages. But also optimized the way content can be shared throughout multiple brands and sites. This efficiency not only saves time but also reduces costs, as fewer work hours are required for each change.
The website is now easier to navigate, complemented by modernized components and tools the page speed has significantly improved – an essential factor for delivering an exceptional user experience. Moreover, the implementation of design guidelines ensures brand consistency and greater brand experience across all 7 websites, the portal, and the 2000 pages available in 25 different languages. As a result, the number of users has increased, they are spending more time on the websites and the conversion rate is higher.
However, it is important to note that this project is an ongoing development endeavor. We are committed to regularly updating and modernizing the website, thereby maximizing its performance and impact.