December 6, 2018 • Grant Weber
It’s not every day that a company like History Factory overhauls its website. However, we felt the time was right to extend our new brand positioning and help companies understand what it means to tap into their authentic content to drive their business forward.
In reimagining the site, we wanted more of an experience that tells a story, while providing easy, quick access to the information that clients, employees and other visitors might need in order to learn about History Factory.
I recently sat down with Steve Allen, the writer on the site, and Boris Geissler, who created the design and functional specifications, to ask them a few questions.
What were you thinking when you conceived the new site? What was your inspiration?
Steve: Our culture is inundated with the inauthentic: artificial ingredients, reality shows pretending to be real life, “fake news,” etc. Authenticity is a valuable commodity because it’s so scarce—and it inherently rings true. We wanted to show the risks of seeming inauthentic in an amusing way, while also showing that the solution to this problem is authentic content found within a corporation’s or organization’s history.
Boris: Where traditional corporate communications come out of thin air, authentic content reigns supreme. And nobody knows more about authentic content than History Factory. In a world where alternative facts and fake news are denounced on all sides, it became clear to me that History Factory had something truly unique to offer. Content that is compelling yet authentic is what History Factory mines and uses for its clients to show how they themselves have evolved over time—and where a client might want to venture in the future.
However, the concept of authentic content is not easily understood. History Factory needed to tell a story that is clear and relatable but edgy enough to be enticing to potential clients. History Factory faced the challenge of making its story, value offering and service potential as crystal clear as possible. With that in mind, it became obvious that any design needed to support the telling of a great story about authentic content, organically leading website visitors and explaining what History Factory is all about. It needed to be simple, clear and minimalistic.
What do you like best about the site?
Steve: The new History Factory site is refreshingly bold, edgy and entertaining—especially for a B2B site. The use of humorous visuals makes an unexpectedly thoughtful and compelling argument for using authentic content.
Boris: The content itself is the star. Every word, headline and paragraph. Every picture, video and service offering. From a design perspective, that means that it is essential to leave everything else out of the picture. No ornaments, few colors, bold typography and lots of white space play a key role in the design—letting the eye focus on what’s essential while providing a clear path forward and guiding the website visitor progressively through the website.
What was the biggest challenge you faced?
Steve: Capturing and explaining what History Factory does (and why it matters) in a succinct and entertaining way was the most difficult aspect of creating the new website. Another challenge: making sure that the audience understands that making use of a company’s history is meant to help build a successful future and not just celebrate the achievements of the past.
Boris: Every word, every pixel and every color needed a reason to exist. Condensing the story and distilling the key messages became the hardest part. Yet we managed to provide an easier-to-understand and more engaging story about History Factory. Now, History Factory visually communicates what it stands for. Its website looks bold, fresh, contemporary and energetic. History Factory does not fake it. History Factory is genuine, real and valuable—just like its offerings to clients.
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