Al Dhafra Specialized Equipment Co. (ADECO) is a United Arab Emirates based dealership that specializes in environmental and fire/safety vehicles.
This project began during my role as ADECO’s Web and Marketing Manager. While it was primarily a redesign project, it did involve an extension revision of existing content in order to align the website with marketing goals. After leaving that role in May 2018 I continued to work with ADECO as a freelancer and manage the site’s content and implement design changes as needed.
After reviewing the original website and discussing goals with my supervisor, I identified the following key issues:
- Important content was placed in graphical control elements (such as sliders) that were unsuitable and used inconsistently across the site.
- The website failed to target key user groups: existing and potential suppliers.
- Branding choices, especially with regards to images, focused narrowly on showcasing some vehicles as opposed to bigger-picture company values such as providing high quality products or environmental sustainability.
- The site was non-responsive and several page sections displayed poorly on most screens.
Based on the issues above, I came up with the following goals for the website redesign and content plan:
- Put partner companies and their products at the forefront of the site in an easily navigable way in order to show existing suppliers that they are being well represented.
- Provide potential customers and suppliers with a clear pathway to contacting ADECO and discussing possible business endeavors.
- Create a clean, modern and consistent design that supports the image of ADECO as an eco-friendly, multi-national and “quality over quantity” brand.
The first step of the design process was to define some user personas and their needs. I split target users into the following 3 groups:
- Persona 1 – Potential Partners (Manufacturers/Suppliers): The most important group that ADECO wanted to reach was manufacturing businesses, typically from Europe and North America, who are looking to find regional dealers to sell their products. They are the most likely group to use the website as a first point of contact as they may research U.A.E dealerships before attending any Middle Eastern conferences or expositions. Their needs include being able to contact ADECO about their specific interest/need, see that ADECO represents its partners well and respectfully and see that ADECO appears professional and shares their company values.
- Persona 2 – Existing Partners: The purpose of focusing on existing partner companies is to maintain good business relationships with them. They would expect to see that ADECO represents their company well with content that is up to date and of high quality. Most importantly, they want their products to be presented as having a unique selling point among ADECO’s other partner companies’ products.
- Persona 3 – Customers: ADECO customers are typically government municipalities that are already familiar with all the dealerships operating within the region, so the website will not be a primary point of contact. However, the website serves customers as a place they can visit for further research and to build an impression of ADECO as a business without communicating with ADECO representatives directly. They expect the website to be professional, informative and match the values and culture presented by ADECO representatives.
After defining personas, the design process involved developing mockup pages for the website. I did this using the website’s existing page builder and those template pages were transformed into live pages, so unfortunately I don’t have sample wireframes or mockups.
Once the team agreed on which mockups they preferred I developed the companies brand guidelines to support both online and print materials.
Feedback from the ADECO team and their partners was overwhelmingly positive. ADECO saw an increase in proposal winning bids after the relaunch of the website and improved print marketing materials I developed. I believe I was able to handle a lot of challenges throughout this project well, particularly dealing with language barriers in trying to reference content from European manufacturing companies that were not in English. If I were to change anything in this process, I would have preferred to do more substantial user research with some lower fidelity mockups and wireframes to elicit more honest feedback.