Steps of the process
In order to create the best user experience, I needed to know more about our customers. Because we had such a small company and no budget for comprehensive user research, I decided to interview our top leadership to create user personas based on their combined knowledge. These fictionalized personas included early career researchers, librarians, tenure committee members, and more. These were also grouped into those with purchasing power vs non-admin users.
User flows & wireframes
Next, I sketched onto paper the user flows for the site layout. These included product landing pages, contact and support, about pages, and more.
Digital wireframes and polished mockups in Adobe XD (a very early version!) followed. I decided to use very common page layouts to avoid any complications or delays during the front-end process.
Simplifying the language is easy in theory, but how do you describe the goal to other copywriters on your team? For a clear mental picture, I turned back to my Atomic Age rebranding inspiration. I remembered the old Walt Disney documentaries that would explain complex subjects in an approachable style. Those would act as our templates for how we would explain our products, metrics, and all other copy.
We did not have a dedicated content manager at the start, so I wrote most of the new content. This also helped to establish a unified tone for future team members to follow.
Once we brought on a new writer, I set up an editing process in Asana so we could collaborate going forward. We covered everything from taglines to value propositions, product descriptions, microcopy, and everything else you’d find on a standard marketing website.
The old site was built on custom code and dated technology. From my research and experience, I recommended we use Angular and customize Bootstrap to take advantage of newer frameworks that did a lot of heavy lifting for us.