CEAD asked Alion to take care of the development of a new website. A website that emphasizes the high-tech character of CEAD. A website that feels exclusive yet accessible, informs customers and prospects, generates new leads and puts the CEAD brand on the map with a 'big bang'.
The real challenge soon became clear: the focus. CEAD is a start-up with various stakeholders. The main product, the CFAM printer, is still in the testing phase. At the beginning of this project, there were no defined applications or customer stories. An endless stream of ideas about possible industries, target groups, and possible use cases. Where to begin?
To give the project a kick-start, we organized a Design Sprint. This consisted of 5 dedicated days for addressing critical questions through designing, prototyping, and testing ideas with customers. Business strategy, innovation, behavioral science, design thinking: each topic is covered and refined within the sprint.
The advantage? No endless cycle of debating, but a tested concept validated by customers, within 5 days. In this case, the insights required to build a sound 'minimum viable product'.
Critical decisions were made each day during the Design Sprint. Focus target groups had been established and the content strategy devised. Rough sketches were drawn and descriptions of the required functionalities were created to aid in the definition of the most important customer journeys.
All choices and insights were assembled into a working prototype, after which we concluded the sprint week with a usability test. We selected several representatives of the target group to assess the prototype. They executed pre-selected scenarios which were evaluated afterwards. Did we receive confirmation that we had made the right choices? Certainly not. For example, when assessing the prototype, respondents were expecting to be able to have products printed.
That is indeed the power of a Design Sprint. In just 5 days we had gathered valuable insights to aid in building a validated concept. After a few small iterations, an effective design was ready for production in a short time frame.
Partly in parallel with the design process, the development of the website was started. We always advise the most effective technical approach and best practices in the market. Sometimes this leads to customization, but often the implementation of an existing system is sufficient. In this specific case, we opted for the development of the website utilizing the user-friendly CMS Umbraco. Umbraco offers the possibility to start off small, but also facilitates extensions, up to and including enterprise-level websites. Based on the growth potential that CEAD has, this is the right choice.
The integration of the Umbraco CMS gives CEAD the freedom to make regular changes to the content during this initial start-up phase of the company, without being dependent on our developers.