Reputation is important. We have spent years building up a strong reputation through hard-work and an ever growing portfolio of impressive work. When prospective clients are looking for an agency, they often have a large list of criteria to be met before signing off on a project. Sometimes a client needs a trusted, and secure agency well versed in projects involving sensitive information. Often a strong understanding of the target market and how best to design for lowest common denominator is the primary need, that only an experienced agency may be able to meet.
Working in Phnom Penh has brought us an excitingly varied range of clients, with each success story spreading our potential new project wins. When GIZ approached us to discuss their newest project, we knew the importance in understanding their needs and offering a reliable solution: We didn't want to be a mere external agency, we wanted them to have the confidence to call on us throughout the project as team members as committed to their mission as them.
We've worked with many clients, from small tech startups, to large international charities, to leading global property firms. As industries and company size varies, so do project requirements.
It's often permissible to create websites out of existing templates, which can save on time and cost massively. However, when planning a project we are careful to uncover every requirement and desire, and look at the possible options to meet expectations effectively.
With the Arise+ Cambodia project, the client and us quickly established that the website needed to be bespoke and built intelligently to include core multiple features to their project.
One of the first considerations for a website, is how the navigation will be effectively set up.
When planning the site map, we imagine the user experience paired with the website functionality. If we're looking for a clean style, then large expansive menus with subsections may be undesirable, however this could be the ideal solution for a complex website filled with pages that a user may want to navigate to quickly.
We built a sitemap structure that allowed users to navigate directly from the home page to each major section, whereby options to explore relevant sub categories would be available.
Taking the time to define the ideal structure with the client is an excellent practice to manage expectations and ensure time efficiency.
One such key feature, was an accessible document management function. The website had to be able to hold a library of reports and other documents, that website visitors could access.
Further to website admins being able to upload new documents, we also had to brainstorm the best way to display documents on the website. The final consideration was how much storage space may be needed to house all the documents that the website will likely hold, as some files could be large in size.
Due to the expected large number of documents a search bar was desirable to provide an easier user experience, as was the ability to quickly group document types by type. We implemented a feature to allow website admins to categorize documents by 'Publication', 'Report' or '3rd Party', which triggered the sections within the documents library - with the added option to feature 'All' documents on the page too.
Core to the project, is the ability to communicate all past and future events related to Arise Plus Cambodia. To ensure events are well publicized, attended and discussed, we needed to create a clear events page that could be easily updated by admins to display key information.
Working on a global basis means that Mäd need to be aware of varying rules and regulations that may apply to our projects. The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit needed to follow European GDPR law which gave us some challenges regarding data protection.
As Google Analytics don't meet the highest criteria for user privacy requirements, we found a solution within 'Simple Analytics'.
"The only data we get ... are the number of visitors per day, referral points (where the users visit our website from), top pages being visited, the devices and browsers being viewed on, and the countries where the visitors are from."
As referenced in the Bloo article, Simple Analytics may only provide the tip of data gathering, but it's more than enough for effective reporting. The Arise+ website was not briefed, nor designed, as a 'marketing website' and as such the loss of highly intelligent data capturing makes no negative impact on the website function.
In the digital world, and in fact the modern world in general, there is a growing need for self autonomy. That is, we look to buy purchases for life, and for products that we can manage ourselves. When a company wants a quality website coded, they're almost always also seeking the ability to manage the website themselves. Therefore, we need to find an accessible solution for content management that allows admins to easily edit the website without prior technical (coding) knowledge.
Having worked with many content management systems, we weigh up the client needs with the most effective solution. Whilst WordPress is a tried and tested solution in the CMS world, its interface can be clunky at times and less intuitive for new users. We opted for Webflow, as it gives our team lots of intricate design flexibility on the backend, paired with a very easy front end editor for the end users from the GiZ/Arise Plus team.
Whilst Webflow has a huge library of online resources and tutorials, there is often no better learning methodology than in-person training/walkthroughs. We invited our client to the office for a training session, with a video conference call running simultaneously for any international team members or those unable to attend in person. By screen-sharing, and recording our conference call, we were able to navigate through all of the admin features and send the final recording as reference material.
Next, we ran a tutorial on Admin tools for each social media platform. It's taken for granted that the vast majority of the working population already use social media , but the relative business page/account options for each platform can be overwhelming to new users. By running a workshop to discuss the important tools, and explaining how to plan social media content and strategy, we were able to make the launch experience comfortable for the client. In this instance, we covered MailChimp, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.
We strive to deliver above and beyond. As such, we don't just build the canvas, but we work with our clients to create the perfect palette. After all, a website or social media account is only as good as its content.
We love branding, and have been privileged to create and redesign many exciting brands; Core to branding is the 'brand book', which helps us define content strategy such as tone, style, fonts, imagery and even cross promotion strategy.
With the Arise Plus Cambodia project we created content template packs to allow the client to drag and drop their imagery, and update placeholder text. We used Adobe Creative Cloud for this, as it's universally recognized as the major graphics package.
However, at a later date the client decided that Adobe was not the most desirable route for their team and asked for alternative solutions. We researched and suggested a mixture of suitable software and offered a further training session for whichever solution they chose - whereby we worked with their team to recreate our templates in the new software and also create their launch content.
Furthermore, although these image templates would work effectively across all mediums, we recognized the advantage of building further templates within MailChimp. The MailChimp templates were as easily customizable, and gave our client a strong foundation to kick off their launch campaign.
We mentioned brand books earlier, and the key specifications that may be defined within them. One such specification of the Arise Plus Cambodia project, was how the logo would be displayed in harmony with the GiZ logo. Core to every design step, were discussions on how to display both logos succinctly.
Through constructive and consistent communication, our designers were able to work with the client to explore options, to ensure all assets were set up correctly for their launch.
If you have the need for a new website, from scratch or an upgrade of existing content, we'd love to hear from you. If you're based in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, we're happy to host you at our office, or visit your business for an initial consultation - and we're also well versed in efficient remote work. As we champion various virtual team management solutions, including our own bespoke platform, we're more than capable with international projects.
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