Working in collaboration with our friends out at Boardroom Resources, we’ve put together a site that we’re rather proud of: the new and improved BoardroomResources.com. At first glance, it feels like a beautiful news site. But as you dig a little deeper, you find there’s a lot going on under the surface.
For rapid development, intuitive management, and easy maintenance, it’s hard to beat WordPress in the open source world. The Boardroom Resources Director of Content is none other than Kerie Kerstetter, and to say that she’s familiar with WordPress might be the understatement of the year. In this case, the tech decision was a no-brainer.
While a well-built WordPress site offers powerful controls for SEO, lackluster server performance can increase load times to the point where it can negate the would-be gains. Thankfully, specialized hosts like WP Engine have fine-tuned platforms that — when combined with CloudFlare’s delivery network — make load time work for SEO rather than against SEO.
Interestingly, this is a WordPress site without a blog. Their former site had a blog, but the old content now lives inside a content type called “Insights”. In addition, there are “Events”, and the ever-popular “Episodes” where TK Kerstetter helps viewers glean from boardroom experts and thought leaders from around the country.
Each content type is color-coded to offer intuitive navigation throughout the site, which is important as each type interconnects with Knowledge Partners and Topics. So when you’re looking at NASDAQ’s contributions, you’ll easily be able to tell quickly what sort of content is represented on the list.
This also helps streamline administration of content, allowing content-type-specific management features such as the inclusion of transcripts for episodes and dates for events.
In addition, admins are able to make dozens of customizations with the click of a button, allowing fine control over the front-end presentation without needing programming expertise or relying on third party templates.
The User Experience
Responsive design is a must. Modern site visitors use a variety of devices to interact with the web, and we should always meet them where they’re at. The site needs to look as good on desktop, tablet, and mobile devices. And ideally, even if it doesn’t look exactly the same, it should be a consistent experience. That’s the spirit behind responsive design.
But the site needs to also feel responsive.
So we add hover effects for buttons, menus, and other components. Changes to the page happen using fluid, modern CSS3 animations. As a result, the site naturally engages users as they interact with the it.
Beyond the cosmetic, a great deal of strategic considerations contribute to how the site works.
- Critical UI elements like buttons are styled consistently to help users identify next steps.
- Third-party marketing automation features are assignable to content throughout the site.
- Analytics tracking is built-in, with admin warnings if it gets turned off.
- Calls to Action appear on-screen in almost any desktop view.
We’ve gotta have fun, or what’s the point? Boardroom Resources gave us a lot of leeway on this project, so there are little subtle touches throughout that an average visitor might not consciously notice. But the thing we most had the most fun with was the button animations.
Throughout the site, buttons have a subtle animation where the gray border turns to “fountain blue” using a barely-discernable redrawing method. Starting from the top-left corner of the box, the color change heads to the right and bottom simultaneously, pivots on the corners, and continues to the lower-right corner. All this happens in under a half-second, so you might not even notice.
But we do, and we keep playing with it like a five-year-old with a new slinky.