When we first met with Follett, they had spent more than 6 decades establishing their foothold as a global leader in the ice and refrigeration industry.
To better reflect the company’s status and history, we created a contemporary website that inspires buyer confidence, places their well-respected product line front and center, and creates a stronger presence in three well-defined markets: foodservice, healthcare, and workplace. From the start, our objective of generating leads for these specific markets defined our approach to the design.
Our design process was informed by mockup user testing that allowed us to identify potential areas of confusion and to confirm that the website would be intuitive to use and easy to navigate. The testing targeted distinct demographics, with participants falling into two audiences: those familiar with Follett and their current website, and others who were not familiar with the company at all. Through the use of a “first-click test,” participants were asked to complete real-world tasks via the website mockups, indicating where they would click to accomplish each task — as we tracked the user decisions and the amount of time taken to decide. After we analyzed and reported test results to the client, we modified the designs accordingly.
Based on an e-commerce model with a product-based emphasis, the sophisticated new site encourages Follett’s visitors to immediately self-identify within one of the markets and then explore solutions related to their specific needs. This process is helped along by a product lookup tool we created featuring drop-down menus, supplemented by thumbnail images on the desktop view, which enable easy navigation even when buyers lack deep technical knowledge about the equipment. After viewing in-depth detail pages and comparing options, visitors are prompted to contact the company, with leads routed to the appropriate internal representatives based on their industry, needs, and location.
Because Follett has a manufacturing facility in Gdansk, Poland, and customers located throughout Europe, we were tasked with ensuring that the site could accommodate the language needs of these various audiences. Our solution? We designed the site to load in English, after which an auto detector determines the location of the viewer and makes alternative language recommendations, when appropriate. There is also an option for visitors to self-select their preferred language. Site content is converted into the respective languages via Google Translate, which required us to keep all important information in formatting with loose character limits that would allow for the differences in copy length required for each translation.
Recognizing that Follett’s customers were also in need of a way to easily identify and contact licensed technicians specializing in servicing their equipment, we developed a service agent lookup that permits them to identify a cluster of providers within their ZIP code, then drill down to see locator pins within their general area, and then view their exact addresses.
The design features an intentional smart-looking, block-based aesthetic and restrained palette that mirrors Follett’s reputation for providing precise, efficient, and utilitarian products that work in just the way customers expect them to — reliably over time.
With Follett’s addition of Vector Lab Products, a health sciences sub-brand, we were re-engaged to design, develop, and launch a new customized WordPress website that would help them take advantage of emerging trends in life sciences — most notably, the need to quickly supply medical-grade refrigeration solutions for the COVID-19 vaccine and develop the therapies of the future.
Moving the project efficiently to completion, we ensured that the new site follows the Follett model of providing their B2B client base with an intuitive user journey from the home page, through informative products, services, and support landing pages, to smartly organized product-specific lists and detail pages that direct users to find a representative to complete their purchase. The content management system allows Vector’s team to make changes and additions to pages and product listings quickly and efficiently as the need arises. From the start, the site was built with future expansion in mind, including full ecommerce features with a shopping cart functionality already in place and ready to be activated when the client is prepared to fulfill those orders.