The BriefWord-of-mouth brought the Wirefire team to our door. They were seeking help with a rebrand and website refresh. Their previous site didn’t tell their story well, and had poor navigation and SEO. Meanwhile, their brand was in need of an update to a more professional, credible look. A network security consulting firm, Wirefire needed an updated brand and site that would demonstrate their expertise and culture. They also needed to connect with two very different audiences. For potential clients, we needed to be able to tell a highly technical and detailed story about their consulting services. For prospective hires, we needed to work towards humanizing the company.
Identifying Audiences and Communication GoalsWhen clients reach out for a website redesign, we know that the website itself is not the goal. Instead, it is a tool to help companies achieve a specific business need. At Codename Design, we take a content-first approach to web design, ensuring communication goals come first. We start with an audience analysis that breaks down audiences’ goals when visiting the website, then establishes how each visit should be measured for success. With Wirefire, we took a values and culture-based approach to telling their story on the website. We wanted to put the human side of the company at the forefront by focusing on their team, a group of highly skilled, experienced people. We started by defining the story of the team and culture before we outlined their services. We wanted to know what was unique about the company. As we started testing, however, we realized that the majority of users were looking for the list of services first and the team second, so we flipped the order of the information. The site needed to do more to speak to Wirefire’s primary audience (potential clients with high levels of domain knowledge). As a result, the site’s primary focus became more of a technical description of services. While the focus on the team’s values, experience, and working culture was important, it would be showcased in its own section with a slightly different look and feel.
The Visual Language
In an effort to maintain a balance between text and visuals, and ensure audiences would be engaged on the site, we developed a visual language to accompany the text and bring visual cues to the content. The illustration style is based on a technical / engineering visual language. Metaphorical in style, the illustrations also make subtle references to the accompanying content. As an added bonus, the illustrations can be used both on the site and in other communication materials like presentations.
The New LogoAs with the site redesign, we wanted to bring the corporate identity in line with the new positioning: a smaller firm with lots of experience that can play with the leaders in the field. Looking to find a way to capture the name, we worked to abstract the notions of “wire”, the technical aspects of the work, and “fire”, which represent people and the striving for excellence. The logo and wordmark were developed at the same time as the visual language for the illustrations. The outcome is a logo that captures the required metaphors and is technically “constructed” — an engineered logo, if you will.
Beyond the WireCreating a new website or launching a product is a bit like owning a bonsai tree, it requires trimming and shaping on an ongoing basis. As we often say to clients about websites: “it’s one thing to have a child, it’s another thing to raise it”. We’re currently working with the the Wirefire team to review the results of the redesign eight months post launch.
David Wood, President, Wirefire