I am pleased to announce that ACDi’s new website www.acdi.com has won the Davey Awards’ Gold Award, the organization’s most prestigious honor!
OK. To be honest I didn’t even know we were entered into the contest, and I didn’t really know the Davey Awards existed until last week (turns out our awesome web developers, Matrix Group, entered it for us), but who cares? We won!
In all seriousness I was quite pleased and proud that others had recognized our new website as the accomplishment I felt it to be. And, I thought it would be fun, at this time, to highlight a few pieces of the process for our friends of the electronics manufacturing services industry who might be thinking its time to redesign their own website. I started to reflect on the past several months and got to thinking how, in some ways, building a website it is much like building an electronic product.
In electronic manufacturing you start with a concept. This concept is based on the functionality of a product. What do you want this product to do? In web design you also start with a concept, but instead of functionality you start with feelings. Yes, I said feelings (it was a shock to us, too). How do you want this website to feel? This leads to mood boards in which you pick out the colors, fonts and themes that will ultimately be the foundation of your site.
After the initial concept, we move on to detailing specific requirements. For electronics this includes things like mechanical restrictions, weight restrictions, RF data speed transmission requirements, compatibility considerations, battery life requirements, etc. For web design we move on to things like number of pages on the site, hosting considerations, navigation structure, making the site responsive for mobile devices, etc. This leads to wire frames and design reviews. Many, many design reviews.
So you have your requirements defined. Now you need to spec out all the electronic components and mechanical parts and cables and labels and such that are needed to make the complete product. At this stage in web design you need to identify and detail what content and images will go on which page. We quickly learned this takes as much time and effort as creating any BOM.
And, of course, there are always schedules to hit and budgets to manage, and no matter what those considerations are there is always the temptation to continue to want to make improvements right up until launch. Know any engineers who like to tweak the design right up until you go to fab? We do! (Don’t worry, we love you guysJ) Luckily, we were working with a website development firm who, like ACDi, understands the need to be agile.
And lastly, whether you’re building a new website or you find yourself needing an electronics manufacturing services partner, it is oh so very important to team with an industry expert. We did, and what happened? That’s right – GOLD AWARD people! (Seriously, there will be no living with me after this…)