Hightail

How do you build a whole marketing site quickly and maintain quality?

The Problem

With a tight launch window, we didn't have time for the normally linear design and development process. Wireframing, content creation, html templates, design—everything had to be running in parallel with each other in order to not sacrifice quality on either side of the process.

Guiding Principle

Tight deadlines require parallel execution.

The Process

Big things first.

Knowing that specific content was going to come much later on in the process, we decided to start with big broad strokes. We wanted to answer two questions: what does the content look like, and how does it fit together?

By defining these things at a high level, we could inform decisions down the road while building a base that would make final development as rapid as possible. From a design perspective, that meant a base style guide. The color palette, typography, and button styles were decided upon before content was even available. We based these decisions on the product styling and branding, which created a unified extension of the platform without requiring any specific copy or photography.

While developing the style guide we also tackled the sitemap and wireframes. We decided how content blocks would interact with each other. We decided what types of content we needed. We didn’t worry about specific quotes or value propositions, only how we wanted to use them to tell Hightail’s story and reinforce their product. None of these decisions needed to be informed by the visual style, so they could be done in tandem.

With a base visual language and site skeleton defined within the first week, we were able to quickly transition these elements to code. By the end of the second week we had the core site structure built—navigation, footers, page headers—and a CSS styleguide in place.

"With a new product launch quickly approaching, I needed a design shop with impeccable taste that I could trust to handle all of our marketing efforts. The Scenery knocked it out of the park and enabled us to focus on building a great product."

Bill Wetherell

VP Design, Hightail

Make time for details.

Since the larger aspects of design were taken care of, we could focus in on the details. One we were able to focus on was site photography.

We had time to do one shoot, but we needed it to do double-duty. We needed nice images to use as background elements, but we also needed specific shots for interactive elements. We also wanted to show the multiple contexts that Spaces could work in. Normally, project photography will just use quick mockups and stock photography, but having extra time allowed us to creative-direct the shoots we needed.

With gorgeous photography, final copy, and all assets in hand we were able to spend the last two weeks doing what we love to do—nitpick the details. We spent time making the site load faster, work more elegantly on more devices, and had things all buttoned up well before we needed to ship. Woohoo!

Result

We built a site that illustrated the value propositions, reflected the interface, and was compelling to users - all in just five weeks.

Hightail

hightail.com

Creative teams use Hightail Spaces to iterate quickly and bring context to the process of critiques and revisions. We partnered with them to launch their marketing site in tandem with the product.

Competencies used
  • Front-end Development
  • Marketing
  • User Interface