Analog knew that their web site was key to the “design-in” process where design engineers select the parts to use in a new design. Analog wanted to redesign the site to ensure that it supported their customers’ decision-making process.
- How do we best support design engineers throughout their work?
- How can our web site convey that our company is best in class, high quality, established, and proven, as well as forward thinking and innovative?
- How much information is enough? When will users feel overwhelmed?
“Managing a site as diverse and complex as Analog’s is a real challenge,” said Joe Laskowski, Director of Corporate Marketing and eBusiness. “Focusing on customer needs and using their inputs to drive site design helps us to reach consensus more quickly.”
“I wanted to get beyond the opinions of various internal stakeholders, analysts, and developers and find out how our primary customers reacted to the site. So we went to InContext, because they use real customer data to guide their design recommendations.”
Mark Skillings, Director of Marketing and member of the e-Business steering committee
InContext provided a full design for Analog Devices’ front page and for key internal pages. The new site was built and launched to acclaim from the customers, the sales force and the executive committee.
Analog launched the revised Analog.com site in September 2004. Analog geared up for the inevitable complaints about change from internal stakeholders and customers. But the new site produced negligible complaints and many positive compliments from users:
- “Things are where I expect them to be.”
- “Feature overview, datasheets, and pricing info are finally on one page. Great. Thanks.”
- “It is pretty much ideal … I wouldn’t change anything.”
- “You can look at it all on one page and that’s great.”
- “This is awesome. I like all the potential parts listed. I click and it’s right here.”
Analog engaged InContext to gather user data and provide the analysis that would determine the content, design, and flow of the new site. InContext discovered that the content which design engineers sought was difficult to find and, once found, was difficult to view in its current format.
- “I don’t use tools on Analog.com because I didn’t know they were there.”
- “The information I need is there, I just don’t know where.”
- “I know that Analog has invested a lot of time in creating useful documentation, but I can’t find it. It’s unfortunate.”
Analog needed to bring the information to the top of the site to expose the content and support functions that they have and users want. They needed to provide clear navigation to deeper levels of content and focus the site to their target populations.
Determining the needs of design engineers was only an initial step. The homepage design needed to support the primary user—the design engineer—as well as the interests of C-level managers.
In addition, the new site needed to portray the personality of the company and provide the right business messages—the well-established credibility and longevity of Analog as well as the creative, forward thinking, and innovative values that drive new product development.
By interviewing stakeholders in the company, InContext was able to develop several versions of the homepage to visually communicate the Analog brand as well as meet the needs of users.
Analog wanted the site to convey:
- Great products, great solutions, appropriately priced
- Not just the best product, but the best solutions
- Best in class, leading edge, market leader, trusted
To gather more user input on the site’s product taxonomy, InContext ran multiple focus groups, reviewing and building the product categories with users to feed the design. Stakeholders were kept in touch with the progress through checkpoint meetings to share the designs. Finally, Analog’s development firm was able to use the specifications to build the new site.
InContext delivered the user data and analysis as well as design specifications and page templates. Analog project leaders and managers accompanied the team on visits and participated in interpretation sessions, acquiring a good understanding of the data first-hand.
In addition to all the positive feedback, Analog has measured results.
Electronics Industry Standard Website Evaluation
“Analog Devices: This site was rated as one of the top sites overall by respondents (70% good or excellent rating).” – Merrill Research – 2006 (10 months after release)
As Dave Kress, Director of Applications Engineering and member of the e-Business Steering Committee, reported, “I have seldom seen such total satisfaction in a major project done at ADI. They are happy with just about every aspect of the new website”.