Nick Peters, BrightArch’s CMO, contacted me around the holiday season asking if I had an opening for a short project in 2011. Jumping at the opportunity to further move their brand forward, I immediately said ‘yes.’ BrightArch already had a web site, but it was done in house and rather hastily. The groundwork was laid by a Joomla theme and some plugins. It was certainly workable, but nowhere did the company or their software really shine through. Below is a look at the old site:
The initial brief was simple: This was a redesign and not a ground-up project. I needed to work within their preset Joomla framework and make modifications from there. No new plugins, no new UI paradigms, no creating a theme from scratch — just a branding spruce-up.
After the initial briefing, I quickly started making mock ups. I wanted to incorporate elements of the brand that were started in the brochure I had done a few months earlier and create a cohesive brand experience. BrightArch might be a smaller company now, but when they get bigger, I want their brand to follow them along that path. So my initial mock up followed along exactly with how I originally designed their brochure. I reused elements, created a very restricted color pallet and allowed a lot of whitespace around grid-locked elements.
From my initial mock ups (left), a few things occurred to me: this web site was not so much a corporate site, but a software promotion site with a little bit of corporate mixed in. Ideally, these would be separate sites, but considering the constraints of the project, this was impossible. So, I went with it, and after some struggle, I created a site mockup that integrated both brands seamlessly (right). Because BrightArch only currently offers one piece of software (OrganizationWeaver), essentially, they are their software.
As a side note: Remember how I said this was going to be a short project? Well it was. BrightArch needed to present this site to investors before the end of the month. So, I worked fast, and the design deadline was nailed in a matter of two weeks. The site was completely launched after only three.
As a slight caveat to all this, this meant I couldn’t completely re-haul every single page, (though I certainly tried) leaving only a few rough patches here and there (they will be taken care of in due time, however).