KORE’s short-staffed internal team had a 35-day website deadline to meet with three months of work ahead of them. Plus, inspired executives had requested a bevy of changes. How would the team get it all done in time?
KYSON DANA, PRODUCT DESIGNER
In order to wow website visitors and convert them into paying customers, KORE needed a better story. As Nathan Burazer, Design Director puts it,
"We needed to display our content in a way that drew visitors into the experience, rather than shouting and giving too much information upfront."
The website also had to load and work faster, be easy to navigate, and use simple messaging. Kyson Dana, a product designer at KORE and the project’s executive director, began on the website’s design. The job required new fonts, new illustrations and loads of fresh content. Inspired, KORE’s CEO began pouring in fresh ideas. Requirements moved and shifted. And, very quickly, what seemed like a pretty simple and doable project was spiraling out of control.
After the holiday break the San Fran team revised its deadline to meet a mid-February launch. But they felt snowed under by the growing expectations and added workload. So they began searching for a West coast engineering team to help them get up to speed with KORE’s re-branding efforts. On the recommendation of a mutual friend, Nathan invited Chad, owner of AMP.build, to interview. Nathan says,
"We liked Chad right away. We could tell that he knew what he was talking about, and he asked questions that showed he was good at his job."
Delighted and relieved, KORE brought AMP.build’s experts aboard in the first week of January. But even with more hands on deck the project’s scope continued to balloon.
AMP.build asked KORE’s San Francisco team to huddle together and figure out a list of pages they’d need. The team then prioritized those according to their CEO and management expectations so that AMP.build could aptly sequence the work. From there AMP.build created a product roadmap to ensure the team’s success. Everyone got on board.
Next, AMP.build added a project management bot called MeetMax.io to manage the project. Max is designed it to work with the team in real-time via a project chat channel within Slack. As Chad explains:
“We ran things on a Slack project channel, and then our stand-up meetings were facilitated automatically by MeetMax.io. Our teams used the bot to communicate, and AMP.build kept all stakeholders informed by regularly sending out status reports.”
AMP.build also built a straightforward and intuitive WordPress theme from scratch for the website. That way, any KORE admin or team member could easily update images and content with no worries about having to understand complex website code. It would also save money on website development down the line.
KORE’s San Francisco team worked nights and weekends to meet the tight deadline. Kyson continued to design about six new pages weekly and passed his screen designs on to AMP.build to develop. “We had a good back and forth interchange as I worked with AMP.build to make sure they carried through our designs,” Kyson explains. “Each Monday we had a check-in. It was really easy to keep updated that way and answer any questions they might have.”
KORE and AMP.build also used software called BugHerd to fix file bugs or issues. They used the cloud storage platform Dropbox to pass files back and forth. “I was delighted with how knowledgeable the folks at AMP.build were,” says Nathan.
“Everything we asked for, whether in terms of timelines or technical feasibility, they said, ‘yes, we can make that happen.’ It seems like AMP.build really enjoyed getting challenged by new things.”
The full agile project required fast turnaround times. And what began as 20 webpages soon mushroomed into 35. Sometimes after AMP.build built and implemented a page KORE execs would request further changes. That meant frequently beginning again from scratch. “AMP.build was incredibly flexible and rolled with the punches,” says Kyson. “That was great because the week that we launched, we actually redesigned the homepage of the website three times!”
Kyson says that compared to his typical experience working with website development teams AMP.build worked “super, super fast.” But what most impressed and surprised him was AMP.build’s ability to build the way his designs intended. “I hadn’t actually experienced that before with engineers,” he says. Kyson believes the new premium and fast website will make a huge difference in acquiring new KORE users because it is basically the front door to the company’s sales funnel.
Nathan appreciates how AMP.build used animation and contemporary web design trends to make the KORE site look more modern and interesting. “It makes us seem like the visionary company we are,” he says. In addition, he reports,
“Website traffic is already up quite a bit, and visitors to the site hang around roughly, on average, 200% longer. People aren’t coming to the website and leaving right away any more. They're actually reading and exploring the website.”
Clearly, KORE is proud of their new site and the difference it will make in selling their product. The company’s tagline is “Work Simply.” And, indeed, with the new product re-branding efforts, KORE’s users and website visitors now actually will.
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