Figmints a Providence RI Website Design Company

Creating a new website for your organization can be a major turning point. Get excited. It’s time to create something new.

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You need a website to help solve your organization’s unique digital challenges. A website that attracts more viewers and converts them into promoters. We’ve built hundreds of websites for companies, governments, and nonprofits. Here is what we have learned.

Building a website is like building a house. There is no one-size fits all solution. We want to work with you to design and develop a site that is just for you. Through our five step process we will discover your goals and challenges, design and build a beautiful and functional site, and launch it to the world to attract more visitors. We’re based in Providence, Rhode Island but we have helped organizations around the country and globe to create an impressive presence online.

What we do:

1

Discovery

2

Information Architecture

3

Sitemapping

4

Wireframes

5

UI/UX Design

6

Development

7

Browser Testing

8

Site Launch & Hosting

City of Providence

Client Background & Challenge

When the city of Providence was ready to build a new website they put out a request for proposals. We were excited to be selected as a finalist and ultimately winning the contract.

Providence is the capital of Rhode Island. Over the last thirty years the city has revitalized itself since the relocation of a major highway that used to cut through the city. This dynamic and diverse city had an aging website that failed to deliver.

The largest challenge with a website of this scale is building an easy to navigate site that caters to diverse set of users. From tourists to residents looking to pay a parking ticket no two users have the same story.

Additionally the old website had thousands of outdated web pages that were buried three or four layers into the website. The client goal was to build a site that was easy to use, compliant with the ADA (American Disabilities Act), accommodate 50 departments needs, support four languages, and could serve as a platform for the future growth of a city.

Solution

After our discovery phase we helped them define a fresh new digital presence. For the information architecture we created a “I want to” navigation module. This helped us translate user goals into easy to identify actions. For example on the site you can quickly choose to: pay taxes, report a problem, adopt and animal, get birth certificate, or plan to move to the city.

Interested in learning more about this project? You can read our full case study here.

CCL

Client Background & Challenge
CCL (Cape Cod Lumber) is a regional building materials company located just North of us in Southern Massachusetts. They had just opened a new expanded facility and were looking to create a new digital presence.

Their business was split between two major customers, professional contractors and homeowners looking to update their windows, bath, or kitchen. Our goal was to create a website that segmented users and helped them find the products and services they needed.

Solution
To do segment users we created a separate experience under the brand “Homescapes by CCL” for homeowners. This section features interactive pages that make it easy for users to find exactly what they are looking for. The content focuses on helping homeowners understand their options and features large images. The professional parts of the site are built around speed and professionalism. They are straightforward and easy to access. This part of the website needed to be accessible for someone looking for a specific material while on the jobsite.

Moses Brown

Client Background & Challenge
Moses Brown is a private educational institution located on College Hill in Providence, Rhode Island. Their old website was clunky and failed to accurately present their 230 year history of excellence in academics, the arts, and athletics. Difficult to navigate the old site was not doing a good job of telling the story of Moses Brown to prospective students. Our goal was to create a website that would help boost interest in admissions.

Solution
We first started by segmenting student admissions into three groups. These groups correspond with the three levels of education that Moses Brown is structured around: lower, middle, and upper. Once you hover over a class card you can learn more about the curriculum. This quickly segments users by story.

Directly after that we wanted to help drive tours of the school. Adding a “schedule a tour” call to action in the middle of the homepage made it easy to see the campus. We knew from our discovery phase that once students and parents visited campus they fell in love with the faculty, campus, and programs.

Moses Brown’s new website features a crisp new navigation, clearer organization and communication collateral, and an overall better user experience.

Interested in learning more about this project? You can read our full case study here.

Our Process

After building 100s of websites we have fine-tuned our website design and development process. Though each site is unique they all follow our process framework. This ensures your project stays on time and budget. Split into five steps, the framework breaks major initiatives into smaller steps. Our goal is to build a beautiful and functional website for your organization. Our process helps us get there – together.

Strategy & Discovery
We’ll kick things off with a questionnaire and a few interviews to better understand your company, your target audience, your functionality requirements and, most importantly, your competition. During this time we will examine your competitors and analyze what is working (and not working) for them. We will then take a deep dive into you analytics and look at everything from demographics to device type. If you do not already have heat mapping and click tracking on your site we will add this additional layer of analytics. This will ensure that we understand how your users interact with your site before we build a new one. The new site (or re-designed site) should help you grow online.

Here are some of the activities that take place in the strategy and discovery phase.

  • Meet with you for a strategy consultation where we talk about project goals and your vision for the future. Each project is different and defining the goals will help us make decisions along the way.
  • Research competitors (yes, you have them). We will look at what is working best for them and what we can improve on.
  • Map the inspiration for your website on mood boards. Review special requirements and explore design elements. We will work with you to decide on a look and feel that matches your brand and visitors expectations.
  • Define your distinctive look and feel by finding your brand’s core themes and positioning approach. This will help when we architect your site in the next

Information Architecture and UI/UX Design

This is where things get real – it is one of our favorite parts of the process because our ideas quickly start to come to fruition. Ideas from our discovery phase are transferred into the foundation of your new website and we make your brand story come to life, with appropriate aesthetics and styling. The Figmints team will consider structure and usability as we:

  • Map out the navigation and user flows in a sitemap. The sitemap is the blueprint for all the pages on your website. It will help us understand user needs and organize content logically.
  • Define functionality and content using custom page layouts for desktop, mobile, and tablet views. Users on different devices have different goals. We will look at each device type to ensure functionality matches the users goals.
  • Style tiles to explore visual options and mood. This is where we define things like typefaces and button styles. They will work together to create a visual voice for your brand online.
  • Polished, custom designs for specific modules or complete responsive layouts for tailored mobile experiences. The design elements come together to create custom modules and page designs for your site.

Development
From front end visual implementation, to the logic of back end development, or even the meticulous testing of browsers and devices, development is where the code hits the road. Form is only as good as its function. In this phase, we comprehensively code and test your website. Here are some of the activities in the development stage.

  • Skin the front-end designs. This is when our Sketch files come to life (Sketch is our favorite UI design software). We code the front-end of the website to look like your designs on any device.
  • Develop back-end features and set up API integrations.
  • Set up the Content Management System (CMS) so you can easily update content.
  • Test features such as database communications, links, forms, phone numbers.
  • Ensure site is responsive with all browser types, tablets, and mobile devices
  • Run a technical SEO audit. We run an audit of your new site to ensure we have correctly implemented heading tags, meta tags, image alts, etc.

Launch
After adding content to make the site your own, the big day arrives!

  • Set up, secure, and performance tune the production server (encrypted with SSL).
  • Before we launch we test site speed and code integrity. This means minimizing requests, automatically compressing images, and ensuring everything is running smoothly.
  • Migrate site from staging to production server. This is the actual act of “pushing” your website live.
  • We will train your entire team on how to manage and update the website. This training session can also be recorded so you can watch it again or train new members of your organization.
  • Set off fireworks in our parking lot to celebrate your new amazing site.

Growth-Driven Design

You may not have heard of Growth-Driven Design (GDD) before, and that’s perfectly fine. Here at Figmints, we’re big supporters of GDD. The benefits it offers can apply to any company’s website. So what is GDD and how does it differ from traditional web design?

Before explaining what GDD is, it’s best to identify how it differs from traditional web design. Traditional web design is performed using a waterfall approach that entails a long initial planning period, followed by site architecture design. Once this is done, everything gets sent over to development and the site is built over a long period of time.

But what happens when an update is needed? The entire process starts over again and a whole new site is created. Most websites using this method redesign every 2-3 years and can leave room for many problems along the way. In contrast to this, GDD is a more iterative approach to web design. Rather than planning for bulk updates every few years, those who use a Growth-Driven approach aim to continuously improve their websites. Through iterative updates, a website created with GDD in mind grows with its users. As consumer preferences and interests change over time, so will your website. This is important for a few reasons:

  • Your UI and UX will always be optimized for your website goals (lead generation, purchases, etc.).
  • Data-driven tests will be easier to perform and will provide you with much a deeper pool of information to pull from.
  • Optimizing conversion rates can be done with needlepoint precision, turning more of your traffic into leads.

GDD finds its value in providing your users with a rich resource of relevant content and information to explore. By continually improving and updating, your users will have a more personalized experience over time, and your digital brand will grow more naturally than ever before.

 

The GDD Process

With your newfound knowledge of how to drastically improve any website, it’s now time to understand what the process of building a website with GDD is.

1. Build the Platform Site (about 2-3 Sprints)

Your platform site is where it all begins. This site is simple, stripped down, and super easy to put together. The idea behind your platform site is to have a bare bones foundation which you can build upon over time. With this base, you’ll be equipped to visualize your digital identity and its true potential. This is the longest step of the process and, here at Figmints, takes us about 2-3 sprints to complete.

2. Create and Iterate (½ – 1 Sprint per Month)

Content Creation
Now that you have a platform to build upon, it’s time to start building! This part of the process is where you’ll build all the juicy content for your traffic to find. Blog posts, page updates, photo libraries, and anything else you want your users to find will all be created and edited month over month as your website matures.

Conversion Optimization
Here, your conversion methods will be tested with extreme efficiency. With GDD, you can consistently run experiments on your site to see what converts best, and what doesn’t. By doing this, your conversion rate can be improved constantly and substantially, allowing your site to transform its quality traffic into leads.

Well, that pretty much wraps it up. As you can see, there’s a clear reason why Growth-Driven Design is our design method of choice. If you have any more questions about how it works, feel free to contact us at info@figmints.com and we’ll happily help you out.

Marketing

The work doesn’t stop when your site is launched. Once your new site is live you are going to want more people to visit it. Our digital marketing packages look to increase your customers, leads, and traffic through search engine optimization (SEO) and conversion rate optimization (CRO).

  • Develop a content strategy with your website as the hub
  • Create a social media plan to promote the content
  • On-page and off-page SEO so it is easy for Google to find the content
  • Sitewide A/B testing and CRO (conversion rate optimization)

Our process is built to help take a complex project and distill it to a standardized roadmap. We use Basecamp for project management. Our goal is to keep things as simple as possible for you the client. While ensuring we create a site using the most technically sound technologies and techniques. When clients ask, “What makes you different from other website shops?” we are proud to respond “Our process.”.

Tried and true, our process insures that we can deliver a superior product – every time.

Hosting

We recommend you host your site with our managed hosting solution partner WP Engine. Configured specifically for WordPress hosting with us allows you to deploy your site with enterprise level security and service for a fraction of the cost. We serve the site pages over a CDN (content delivery network) that ensures your pages load fast. All with helpful 24/7 service, monitoring, and support.

Tech Specs

We build our websites using a content management system (CMS). This allows you to easily edit and update your site over time. Most often we use WordPress as the CMS that sites are built on. WordPress is the most popular CMS in the world powering over 26% of the internet. This means that it is easy to support and maintain over time.

We use the most current code standards when developing your site. Here are a few of the technologies that we use:

  • WPengine is our website hosting partner. We can get you a deal on enterprise level hosting.
  • WordPress CMS
  • NPM & Webpack for front end development
  • Custom SASS library utilizing Bourbon & Neat

 

Why Rhode Island?

Based in Providence, Rhode Island we came for the food and stayed for the people. The “Creative Capital” has some of the best arts in the Northeast. The location is perfect to serve clients from New York to Boston – but with a more affordable real estate marketing, you will get Madison Avenue quality for a fraction of the price. Rhode Island also boasts some of the most talented digital creators. It’s a hotspot for designers, developers, copywriters, and marketers. We’re proud to call Little Rhody home.

The internet is growing, are you?

It’s time for your organization to step up your digital game.

We’re here to help your new site act as the hub for all online activities.

Contact us today to get a quote for a custom designed and developed website.

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