In this presentation from the 2023 Typefi User Conference, Jason Mitchell, Typefi VP Customer Success, and Stephen Pashby, Project Manager at DesignHammer, discuss the various phases of the Typefi website redevelopment project including the planning, the goals, and the solutions that were involved in the redesign.
The project was driven by an internal desire from Typefi to improve the organisation’s presence online. The old Typefi website was full of great information, but it wasn’t organised clearly and much of that information was difficult to find. Additionally, the website had built up substantial technical debt which was becoming a roadblock to future initiatives.
Typefi chose DesignHammer, a web design agency out of North Carolina, to take on the project and revamp the Typefi website.
The project began with an extensive Discovery process during which the Typefi team discussed a wide range of topics including the audiences the website needs to serve, what those audiences need from the site, the information available on the site, and the overall look, feel, and structure that Typefi wanted.
In the end, DesignHammer and the team agreed on a robust project plan that offered numerous solutions aimed at helping Typefi achieve its goals. DesignHammer developed the website and Typefi refreshed and reorganised all the content within it, resulting in a clean, modern website where everything is easy to find.
Check out the video for a full recap of the extensive website redevelopment project.
|00:00||Recent improvements at Typefi|
|03:30||Website project background|
|08:19||Discovery & planning phase|
|18:34||New website solutions|
|26:09||Thanks to the team|
Recent improvements at Typefi (00:00)
Well, good afternoon everyone. It’s really excellent to see you all again. Also really good to see the people from Typefi, even some colleagues I’ve not seen for nearly four years.
I came to Typefi about nine years ago, and like many of my colleagues, I was a customer of Typefi before I was an employee. Somehow I was seduced into the inner circle and wanting to join a team that put customers needs at the top of the priority list.
And now as the VP of Customer Success, it’s my responsibility to preserve that connection with Typefi, even though now we have over 70 customers around the globe and are no longer that small startup that I purchased whenever I was a customer.
Now, the only way we can do this is, to keep this personal connection, is by empowering our consultants, who are also around the world, and we do what it takes to give them all the power they need to help the customers directly to succeed.
Last year this was recognised by an organisation called Zero Distance, which gives awards to various types of industries who give authority to those on the front line to make sure customers get quick results.
As we grow, the company must continue to push the authority to the frontline so that we can have 50 brains in the organisation working for the good of customer and not just a few with a hundred pair of hands.
Now, over the last few years, we have created platforms that try to move this critical information not just to our consultants fingertips, but also to our customers.
And in 2016, we launched the Typefi Help Desk. I think we’re over 10,000 tickets now, which Guy reminds me is not a stats to brag about. Mind you, at least a thousand of those are from a spam attack that happened about two months ago.
But that helped us centralise all of our help issues in one spot so it’s easier for customers to track, easier for us to track.
And then in 2019, we did the obvious thing, which is invest heavily in product documentation allied to that help desk so that people could start to answer their own questions a bit more. And Toni, who’s joined us today and after being at Typefi for a year and two days or one day? Two days. Many of us have only met for the first time, and she carries on that work with the documentation.
Now in 2021, you’ve heard it mentioned a couple of times already, we launched My Typefi, a platform, which at the time the main purpose was to give the visibility to all of our customers about the hours that we were logging against their support packs or service packs.
And in the spirit of transparency, you effectively paid in one way or the other for those hours, and we want you to know how they’re being used so that we can have an open conversation about that.
And that’s really core to what we believe at Typefi. It unites our passion for automation, which is what we do with our product, with a belief that people work best when they know all they need to know to do the job.
Now, Caleb’s already talked about some things that could be coming to My Typefi. There are lots of plans to expand it, put more key metrics and assets there to make this really a one-stop platform for all customer information requirements.
Website project background (03:30)
But of course today we’re here to talk about something new.
If you work with us, you’ve discovered that automation can really be a friend to your creative process. It’s not this scary demon that’s going to come out and steal your job. It’s an assistant that makes your work better. It supports your creative efforts and it buys you time to focus on the things that matter most to you and to your readers if you’re a publisher.
But unfortunately not everyone knows this, which is a real surprise to us. We just think everyone should.
Typefi has grown over the years really by the word of mouth, by a lot of people who’ve been here. Thinking of IGI, who I think you said 2008 was when you started? That predates me being at Typefi, and it’s that positive recommendation which has helped the company grow. But of course we’d like to do more to spread the message now.
So we’re relaunching typefi.com to make it easier for people to find us if they don’t know about us already, and so they can understand this positive effect that automation can have if you’re creating content for a living.
Now, a little bit about the people who were involved, and Caleb, I apologise in advance for the design PowerPoint inflicted upon me. It was late last night.
But we have, in the past, the old typefi.com had been really driven by Shanna, who’s no longer with Typefi, and Caleb, and they had worked tirelessly to build it.
We decided to take a different approach whenever we designed, for this project. And so we got a team together really from all sectors within the company, to really gather information and make a sense of the shared experiences of customers and internal staff with Typefi.
We wanted to know from someone like Stephen who’s not here today, but is our BDM in the UK, what is it that prospects are asking after they’ve looked at the site and then they’ve reached out to you?
We wanted to know from someone like Chathini, who’s now the head of people, what are prospective employees? What sense do they have of the company when they visit the website? And our feeling with that question was not very positive. We weren’t doing enough to celebrate our culture.
Are we doing enough to tie that into our marketing campaigns, which Lukas is heading up now, but at the time it would’ve been Kate who’s in the middle and she left only a couple of months ago. And really, is the website clearly representing the product and the services we sell so that people can understand what it is?
Now, this group met for a very long time to try to tackle this challenge. You also see Marie and Caleb there, Caleb obviously from the product side, and Marie who diligently kept us all on track with her project management.
When we started redesigning this though, we had to really go deep and the question became, what is Typefi really all about? And we did an enormous amount of work to answer those questions and we realised we really did face some challenges.
Like, it’s not simple this question, who are we talking to? I think even with the clients sitting around here, you can see that for instance with IGI, you each probably have very different job roles, but you might want to come to Typefi if you were a prospect, typefi.com, for different reasons.
Maybe you’re looking for an automation tip. I mean, Peter Kahrel’s script advice and tips within the website, are still some of the most popular content that’s there.
Or perhaps you could be a head of production who’s looking for a way to get your life back because you’re spending so much time through manual processes.
But then of course with such a varied audience, the question becomes, how do we connect to these different people really quickly, really clearly, and with a purpose? How can we make sure everyone can navigate the website easily and not get bogged down in the weeds, and how can they find the stuff that’s most important to them?
And believe it or not, a lot of people don’t even know something like Typefi exists, not us. We’re not actually in a market where we have a long list of competitors.
Some people think you cannot automate InDesign, or maybe a little bit of a script here. They don’t realise that you can use InDesign Server. They don’t realise you can automate that.
So that’s a challenge in itself. How do we draw in that traffic? So we had our wishlist and we went off searching for a tool, and we found DesignHammer. And let me introduce Stephen now who will take you through the new website.
Discovery & planning phase (08:19)
Well thank you Jason. Okay audio? Alright, thank you Jason.
It’s been a real pleasure to work with the multidisciplinary Typefi team, that Jason showed on the screen, for almost the past year and a half. I guess we’ve been working together very closely for that time.
So I’m Stephen Pashby. I’m with DesignHammer. I was the Project Manager and Lead Consultant on the new typefi.com website.
So our hope is that the new website serves as a valuable tool for the current and future Typefi community as well as the wider content community. So I figured I’d kind go through the story of how we came to this place and a lot of the discussions that we had, because I think that’ll be kind of interesting for people.
So as a kind of a philosophical point of view, one of the things that our team believes in is, websites at their best are tools to solve problems, business problems particularly.
So we went through a pretty robust set of discussions taking a lot of the questions that Jason outlined and really going through, how does this align with the organisational goals, what challenges does the organisation face? Jason was articulating a lot of these.
And then how do you line those up with website solutions? And then how do you measure success? Taking that goals, challenges, solutions, metrics approach can transform a website from just a static public face to a tool that actively contributes, that can be analysed, and improved over time.
So how’d it go? It sounds simple. How’d we get there? So as Jason talked about, we worked with a multidisciplinary Typefi team throughout a very robust discovery process and it had several different pieces.
So there’s strategic consulting, and a lot of times what we focused on was trying to understand the Typefi team is coming from a lot of different places, but the exercise of explaining to us what it is their goals are and those challenges helps define those.
And then we talked about the different audiences that the website needs to appeal to. And there are a lot of different ones. You’ve got leads, you’ve got, which is a complex audience, you’ve got existing customers, you’ve got potential employees, and then you’ve got existing Typefi staff, and then you also have partners. And we looked at those audiences through the lens of, what do they want from the website, and what does Typefi want from them?
Based on that, we also did a content inventory analysis to say, hey, what’s actually already in existence, and how is it organised? What can come over as is? What needs to be rewritten?
And then from that we talked about, we collaboratively brainstormed through different types of solutions that we could think about for the website. What are common patterns for communicating this sort of stuff? Do we want to have very, very verbose copy or do we want to be more lean and streamlined?
And then we went through a few card sorting exercises and a tree test exercise to kind of help the team step out from internal Typefi language into the language of the customers.
And some of you may have actually participated in the card sorting and tree testing exercise. If so, the website is, partially owes, we owe some thanks to you for helping us to design a very, hopefully very usable and attractive and informative website.
And we then culminated all of that into a very robust project specification.
Project goals (12:26)
So I thought it would be helpful to just talk through what were the goals and how we provided some solutions that really, we think, will help overcome those challenges and achieve those goals.
So Typefi, you can kind of boil down three website goals. One was increase brand recognition and revenue.
Typefi would like to continue to grow, continue to make money. It’s important and that is not only lead acquisition, but also sales education and validation.
Two, it’s very important for the Typefi team to provide knowledge and resources to the content community. And that’s both for existing Typefi clients as well as for people who may not have heard of Typefi, maybe they’ve come across some scripting and they’re just beginning to even learn that this is something that can happen.
And then it was important to ensure that existing customers were supported on the site.
So from our discussions with Typefi, we really identified two major challenges. The first is, Typefi is a complex product.
It’s a complex product, partially because it delivers multiple solutions. And I expect that as you talk to each other as users of Typefi, you’re all using it very differently. And what attracted you to Typefi is probably, there’s probably a lot of differences there.
Additionally, what’s important is going to vary on your unique needs and Jason’s team works to tailor Typefi to your individual workflow and technology stack and process.
So fully explaining every possible solution can lead to information overload. So you’ve got a lot of information to convey.
And then you have another challenge that Jason touched on that is, many folks who could use Typefi may not even think of themselves as publishers or even envision a solution like Typefi exists.
So the team really thought that by embracing a solution-first approach, we could kind of streamline a lot of the discussion and help get the message out in a way that was not having folks wade through an encyclopaedia worth of discussion.
The other major challenge that we identified was the old website. And the old website had, it had grown over time, and I think that a lot of the copy was very verbose and difficult to scan and consume. And one of the things that had kind of grown up, as the website I think grew fairly organically, was calls to action were either unclear or absent.
A lot of the previous site’s content was great, but much of it was hard to find both for normal site users and for Typefi themselves. In fact, during one of our content inventory review meetings, Jason was very surprised at how much great content was actually on the website. It was just buried.
So it was clear we needed to better expose and highlight this content throughout the site.
And lastly, as was brought up in one of the earlier case studies, the website had a lot of technical debt. And so an important mandate for our team, not just in think thinking through the information architecture and the design and the overall strategy of the website, was to make sure the site we delivered was built with a content entry process that was efficient, straightforward, and ideally pleasant for the Typefi team going forward.
Target audiences (16:42)
As I mentioned, we looked at five different target audiences. I think there are two that we really leaned into as the primary target audience.
One was potential leads, which is a complex question in an organisation like Typefi. Since you have many different stakeholders who will be involved in a decision to actually engage with Typefi.
You’ve got your designers and publishing and content managers who may feel the problem on the ground at their organisation and may be interested in a solution, but they really have to justify the cost of engaging with Typefi.
As well as CIOs and CFOs, who need to see the dollars and cents and security implications for that sort of purchasing decision.
So in order for the website to be effective, it has to focus on providing the right sales education to the right people at the right time, and make it easy for people to find that information that they need so they don’t have to wade through a lot of information.
Secondarily, you’ve got your Typefi client and the larger publishing community. And so this is sort of a place where a lot of these great resources come into play. It’s talks like the case studies and information here, a lot of the great webinars, a lot of the great how-to content, it’s a valuable resource for existing clients as well as the community at large, and can serve as sort of a way to attract people to the website.
So that kind of other audience is extremely important as well.
New website solutions (18:34)
So we basically landed on, I’d say three broad solutions for the site.
One was really focusing the messaging.
We really retooled the product messaging to lead with challenges and then guide to Typefi solutions. We focused on less is more for content, really trying to really boil down what’s the important stuff and guide people through a curated journey so they understood what Typefi can provide and sort of how it can help them.
And we implemented a solution finder to help users share their publishing challenges and align on a Typefi solution.
So I’m going to show a couple of the pages from the site. It’s live, you can check it out yourself of course, but we’ve got a couple videos just to kind of see a lot of the different pieces.
So we’ll start with the Typefi homepage. We’ve got a handy animation at the top there to demonstrate Typefi in action almost without words. We’ve got some strong quotes, sort of help different people understand the value of Typefi.
We’ve got a solution finder on the homepage to guide people to deeper target, deeper content. We’ve got featured content, featured case studies.
And then one of the nice things that we’ve got down here is featured content on the homepage that is exposing a lot of that deep content to the home, to people immediately as they land. And then of course sign up for the newsletter.
You notice there are a lot of different call actions throughout the page, so it really allows people to quickly find what it is they’re looking for and kind of dig in.
Similarly, we really pared down the product page with, I scrolled pretty fast on that one, a lot simpler messaging and focused on allowing people to scan things quickly and understand what it is that they’re looking to see.
Also focused on really simplifying the product message so that it wasn’t all the different options of Typefi, but Typefi broadly: what it does at its core as a solution.
And then we, as mentioned on the homepage, we added a solution finder. And this allows users to say, hey, here is my challenge, and will lead them to pages that talk about their particular challenge and how Typefi provides a solution to that challenge.
We also focused on multiple engagement paths. Really wanted to support kind of multiple entry points and paths to learn about Typefi. We already looked at the homepage and solution finder.
The challenges and solution pages that the solution finder leads to were also designed to kind of help expose the solutions that Typefi can solve with the aim of making it easier for folks who are just searching for a particular challenge, say, I have this problem, they can’t even think of that there’s a solution like Typefi out there.
And so giving them an entry point to find the website and to find a solution.
Also, we focused on industry pages. Previously that had been a key component of the Typefi website. They’re still there because different industries have some focused messaging and focused solutions, but they are more there to support the business development team rather than being the primary entry point.
And then resources and blog posts were really retooled to make them easier to link to other content.
So just going to show a few of these pages.
So a challenge and solution page. With a given solution, there are multiple challenges that may lead to it and they allow the visitor to find that information quickly and then get in touch.
Industry pages, again, allow for a lot of different targeted messaging and specific quotes, specific features that are highlighted for that industry, specific case studies, and specific validation by different customer logos.
And the final solution, since we have a lot of different ways of exposing information, was focusing on a modular reusable content model.
So the goal was to make it easier to feature and find Typefi content through the site rather than having to manually curate everything. So we’ve got fully featured filters for case studies, resources, and blog posts. A robust site search.
And then as you may have noticed, a lot of those cards exposing this resource and blog and event content throughout the site. It’s all driven by the same system. So it’s edit it once, and then it is exposed where it needs to be exposed.
Just wanted to show a video of our resource library in action. One of the things that I think is one of the most useful parts of the site is moving all the resources from just being static pages to a nicely tagged and filterable list. So now we’re exposing all of the older resources in a way that they can easily be found and consumed.
Standards Cloud session right there.
For metrics of success, focused on implementing Google Analytics tracking, aiming at measuring leads from the website, engaged sessions and engagement percentage, and increases in organic search traffic as well as being able to track leads from organic search traffic.
So why did the project work? Well, I’ve been on a lot of web projects. I can safely say this is one of my favourites.
The team was highly engaged throughout the process. I really think it shows in the final project. I think not many companies, when they invest in a website redesign, actually put together a multidisciplinary team. So it’s clear that Typefi invested in the process and put the right people in the room to make it successful.
The team stayed focused on that stated goals, right? We had a lot of conversations once we had those goals outlined and we constantly referred back to those, which I think helped the site have a real clarity of purpose.
And then the team was willing to examine assumptions and consider new ways of communicating. There wasn’t a lot of, well, we’ve always done it this way. It’s really, here’s our goal. How do we communicate most effectively?
So I’d like to thank Typefi for a really great project. I think it’s been great and we’re looking forward to the customers enjoying the website.
Thanks to the team (26:09)
Thank you, Stephen. Just a couple more words before we finish here.
The only reason why I’m standing up here is because Lukas is standing behind the camera, because I can do this, but I cannot do that.
Internally, we are really pleased with the new website. It was an intense amount of work and there were a lot of people involved in the project as well.
If you’re in here and you’re looking to redesign a website, could not recommend DesignHammer anymore. If you’re watching the video in years to come, just go to DesignHammer and get a website.
We did all contribute a lot, but a couple of people in particular.
Kate, who left Typefi a couple of months ago because the overlap of times just really didn’t suit her anymore. Perfectly understandable. But without her initiative, I’m not sure this project would’ve got off the ground.
When we started, Lukas wasn’t even here and it feels like he’s been here forever. But since the last week in August, Lukas has had two things on his plate. One is this day that we’re all having today, and the other one was just finishing the entire website content.
And this project only looks as good as it does because of Lukas’s exceptionally hard effort over the last couple of weeks. So well done, Lukas. Well done.
So our goal was to bring more of our information to the fingertips of our users, fans, and prospects. I hope you all enjoy the results and I hope it helps you do more with Typefi.