Agency | This Place Role | Visual Design Lead, UI/UX, IA Client | Boeing
Boeing has been assisting various groups of aviation experts for years with services ranging from fuel optimization to pilot training. One thing that Boeing was missing was a source of truth website that assisted with telling the story of how these aviation experts could obtain these services as well as educate them as to how Boeing could help them with their specific needs. That’s when Boeing came to This Place for an RFP on how to create a site that was visually stimulating but also told a unique story for a very diverse group of people. This Place won the RFP and as a result, was able to further assist with helping Boeing create a solution.
Creating a marketing website now-a-days isn’t limited to the templates and layouts. Now they need to be routed in strategy and an idea. That said, we came up with a narrative to help reinforce the purpose of this website. Speaking in terms of the different aviation markets including Commercial, Business, and General, we came up with a strategy of really making the site personable through the narrative each site had to offer. We started thinking about what information would be important to the various markets and came up with different entry points, including Social Media. Through social media, a user would be introduced to a story that pertained to one of the markets. When the user clicked on the story, they would be greeted with a personalized homepage that would allow the user to gain insight into the various services that would assist them and their aviation purposes but also to personalized stories through the articles page.
Entry Point example
One of the first things we had to do was conduct an audit of all of the content pages that Boeing Services had and come up with a way to structure the pages. Leveraging the various markets - Commercial Aviation, Business Aviation, General Aviation, and Defense, we decided to segment the content within these four verticals. From there we came up with what we called Category pages which acted as over arching page for the service that Boeing provided. From there, we segmented everything off in what we called the Services pages - which stood as the more granular view into services.
When looking into how to build the website, we decided to approach it from a components perspective. We created 14 overarching components that had the ability to be customized based on the content that was to house each component. The goal of the components was to create something that would be easily editable within a CMS for any Content Author. That said, part of the documentation of these components consisted of a consistent language between design, development and content creators.
Content Template Examples
We provided the third party content team with examples on how the components could be displayed for the various pages and components. This assisted with helping them figure out how to essentially use the components as lego pieces that could be fitted into a narrative for the various pages. We also assisted with providing character counts and the like for the components to help them craft their content stories in a concise way.
Photography Art Direction
Another thing that we provided the team was direction on photography. A lot of the photographs that were being leveraged on the Boeing site were a bit antiquated and didn’t quite fit in with the new Boeing Services narrative that we were trying to help them tell. As a result, we were able to set up a few ground rules for them to follow on their upcoming photoshoots (which we were also to be a part of). We were able to teach them a few tricks with content including using conceptual and abstract imagery. We also provided them with an extensive 46 page document of examples.
We created two versions of the homepage. One was a general view that contains information regarding all 4 verticals and the others were based on a personalized experience. The latter followed a different entry point consisting of targeted ads. For example, if a General Aviation pilot were to be on LinkedIn and saw an article pertaining to a small and local aviation company, they could tap on the article and be taken a homepage that looks just like the one below but
with information pertaining to just General Aviation.
The goal of the Article Page is to highlight stories told by individuals that work within 1 of the 4 main aviation profession verticals. In the example below, we show a story pertaining to General Aviation regarding a small pilot business containing mostly Cessnas. The content tells the story of the pilot and her journey of maintaining that business. On the side, the user sees how Boeing services have been leveraged throughout her business journey. By having this sort of menu following the user, the user is able to get an idea of how Supply Chain (for example) was used. Within the narrative is also the chance for the user to explore the services used in the story to see how it could potentially assist them and their business needs as well.
The goal of the category page is to act as an overview of the general service. Here a user can learn about Pilot training classes pertaining to their specific vertical - General Aviation for this example. They’re greeted with information on various forms of training including video content and links to more granular services.
The last and final step within the Boeing Services journey is the services page. Here, the use can learn more specific examples about a services and can be taken to pages that either lead to the action of calling a representative, buying a product through e-commerce like Jeppesen or emailing for more information.
As part of the condensing of information, we really focused on how to not depend on a “super navigation”. Given the new purpose of Boeing Services to act as a fresh, clean, and marketing-heavy site, we kept the structure very minimal and even included imagery to help break up the content.
JEppesen.com - Scalable design
At the time of the Boeing Service project, another started that needed to be consistent with what we created with Boeing Services and that was Jeppesen.com. We leveraged a lot of the same components but altered them to fit with being more product focused. This exercise helped us to learn where some of the gaps were in our system but also where it thrived. We were able to easily express the Jeppesen brand as well.
ECD | Ben Aldred Program Manager | Brad Krise Development | Slalom