Macromedia.com “Day 1” Web Site

The "Day 1" macromedia.com web site has arrived! The "Day 1" site is how we've been referring to the modified macromedia.com web site that would go live once Macromedia became "the company formerly know as…".
Which is now! As the chief info architect for the web site I wanted to have
the chance to explain some of the things we did and why.

 

Design goals for Day 1 Web Site

(1) Ease transition pains for users
We knew we had to make some changes
to macromedia.com to communicate to folks that we are now Adobe. But we were
concerned that making any drastic changes to the web site would hurt our regular
visitors and customers (or at least inconvenience them, which is the same thing).
Ever since one fateful redesign many years ago, we've been chanting "evolution,
not revolution" every
time a redesign comes due. So our number one design goal for the Day 1 macromedia.com
web site was "do no harm". We wanted to allow developers and others who use
the site on a regular basis to easily get to information and resources they
use regularly (dev center, support, forums, downloads, Labs, etc).

(2) Answer the important question: what about me?
We also anticipated
that folks would have concerns and questions about their products ("are you
still going to support <ProductName>?") and their relationship with
us. So we wanted to provide easy site-wide access to acquisition information
that would help answer these questions.

(3) Allow easy cross-travel
We know that many
of our customers use both Macromedia and Adobe products And
that many are regular users of both sites. For the "Day 1" web site we wanted
to create a convention for crosslinking that would allow easy access to and
from each company's
web site in places where it made sense. Some examples are the home pages for
support, products, downloads, and solutions.

(4) Provide contextual help
The
convention we used for crosslinking not only gets the user to the parallel
area on the other web site, it also provides contextual help where relevant.
For example on the support home the crosslinking pod contains: "Have questions about how this affects your support? Learn more

25 Responses to Macromedia.com “Day 1” Web Site

  1. Skip Pickle says:

    Interesting. i checked macromedia.com this morning, and the tweaks seems pretty minimal. i didn’t realize that the reskinning you mentioned and the “Global Nav Bar Tweak” work had been done until i read your entry.Then i went back to the home page and hit Ctrl-F5. All looks nifty!(i had been wondering why the FMA wasn’t set to the color of the background… now i know… 🙂 )

  2. Jesse says:

    Nice job. From the sounds of it there is a lot work to be done. Now how much fun will it be not breaking all the links on all the blogs to all those tech notes and forum posts??? :)Still getting the MM favicon though.. and I am not clearing my cache to see if that gets rid of it.

  3. Scott Barnes says:

    Is the background on the main page supposed to stop suddenly? ie i get a nice white to gray gradient, but towards the end, just stops and reverst back to the Macromedia blue/gray look?(IE 6.0)Interesting Read though.

  4. Suggestion for day 2: begin redesiging Adobe site to be more visually pleasing, easy to navigate, find products & product information, etc.

  5. Chris says:

    It all looks way to corporate. When I visit the ‘MM’ site the new banner makes me want to leave, I had to scroll down to hide it.Please adopt a better feel, because for me, this new one does Adobe no favours

  6. Ravi Kandel says:

    You only changed the logo but glad to see same Macromedia favicon ;)Hope Macromedia + Adobe will deliver best quality designing and developing tools as usual.

  7. ben says:

    I hope Adobe.com ends up looking more like Macromedia.com. The latter design is so much better from an aesthetic and information layout. But I doubt that will happen. Adobe.com is poorly designed.

  8. A.A. Fussy says:

    I love the reskinning on macromedia.com-matches the Adobe site’s color scheme quite nicely.

  9. Cam says:

    David,Thanks for your sensitivity to transition pains for long-time Macromedia users and fans. Your focus on gradual changes and “evolution, not revolution” is much appreciated!You’re right, that big red Adobe “A” was startling to see on the Macromedia.com site, although I knew change was coming.The visual impact of the new logo threw me a bit (“Am I on the right site? Oh yeah, the acquisition…”). The inclusion of “formerly Macromedia” is very helpful and reassuring. And the familiar Macromedia favicon serves as a “friendly face” in the midst of change. :)Great article by Neil, too, on the CSS implementation (http://weblogs.macromedia.com/neils/archives/2005/12/adobe_logo_on_m.cfm).Thanks for sharing the thinking behind the Day 1 design (which I hope lasts somewhat longer than one day!). I’ll be interested in reading about the ongoing site integration process.Cam

  10. Hopefully the Adobe site will morph into the maromedia site. I use both compaines products regularly but would visit macromedia weekly and Adobe about 6 times a year.The site has been a credit to Macromedia 🙂

  11. Sue Nomi says:

    You may be taking a “giant leap forward” through the combination of the two companies, however, I can’t help but feel that through Macromedia losing it’s long-standing identity, it’s also losing it’s soul.The comment above that the site “looks too corporate” speaks to that. Half of it looks too boring and bland, and other elements just look ameteur, such as the “Macromedia ” graphic.A consistent look, using the format of the Telecommunications Solutions graphic would be an improvement.Looking forward to further development of the site.

  12. Frank says:

    You’ve got a tough job. I think you took the right approach. I’m sure Adobe doesn’t want to invest a whole lot of money into a website that will go away. I have to admit, the corporate images in the middle have a cold and heartless feel and do more harm than good. I hope that Adobe will not assume that prior Macromedia customers will follow cart blanche over to the new master. If there is a great deal of discontent, you’re likely to see a new Adobe rival born either through open source or nimble apps.

  13. RKilian says:

    I hope this is not a sign of things to come now that Adobe is overseeing things, but the new macromedia.com site crashes web browsers – both IE6 and Firefox1.0.7. It seems that after the “Customer Success Stories” section of the Studio8 page [http://www.macromedia.com/software/studio/] loads all “6 of 6” in the Flash video the browsers close with an error (FlashPlayer 8,0,22,0).

  14. David Hatch says:

    Thanks for all the comments. This is my first foray into blogging, so if I commit some blogging etiquette errors, be sure to let me know. For those who have reported or will report bugs I have forwarded/will forward them on to folks on my team who can get them fixed. Keep the feedback coming!

  15. Rob Cameron says:

    I’ve always liked Macromedia.com and think you guys did a great job starting to bridge the two sites. Personally, I hope the merged site ends up looking and working more like Macromedia.com than Adobe.com. I’ve always had strange problems with Adobe’s site since Hillman Curtis did the redesign a few years back … long load times, images not loading at all, all kinds of weirdness.Macromedia.com had a very tight, focused feel while Adobe just seemed to be all over the place. Macromedia.com felt more like a cozy home for customers and developers, Adobe.com just seems to be a cold marketing tool for their products. Good luck guys, and keep up these neat behind-the-scenes posts. 🙂

  16. d-mode says:

    Here is another idea for your flash header ;)http://www.smithmediafusion.com/NoNef/adobeTakeOver.html

  17. Mike Brunt says:

    David, thanks for the insight. I am curious as to what servlet container you use for the Adobe site?

  18. Christopher Mackay says:

    Overall I think you’ve taken a sensible approach, and I think it’s working really well.I would agree with previous comments; I visited Macromedia.com daily, Adobe.com maybe monthly. Here’s hoping the Adobe site becomes more like the Macromedia site — from the perspective of net-focused tools like Flash and Dreamweaver, I don’t think it will be possible to adopt a Photoshop- or Illustrator-type web presence.As a Mac user, I have to point out that Adobe — despite continuing to make first-rate products — has a history of treating their Mac customers as poor cousins (Macromedia also suffered a bit from this)*. This makes people hesitant and suspicious, something you should keep in mind when surveying customer feedback. E.g., there were Day 1 hiccups on Macromedia.com (and Adobe.com), some of which persist, that were only apparent to users of Safari. I’m not feeling the love. Still, these are minor quibbles, really; you had a Herculean task that you’ve carried off admirably in most respects.That said, I’ve always enjoyed Macromedia and Adobe products, and look forward to using them for years to come.*(Let’s see… Macromedia charging Mac customers the same as Windows customers for Studio when the Mac box was considerably lighter [Cold Fusion]; Adobe omitting key features from several Mac versions of Acrobat, again with no discounts; you get the idea.)

  19. Hi,Just a little fyi, the certification is messed up:http://www.macromedia.com/v1/handlers/index.cfm?Id=19865&method=fullI'm not sure if you’re aware of this, so here you go ;-)Great article btw! Michael

  20. Adam Pratt says:

    I appreciate David giving us all a peek behind the curtain. Reading all the comments was also interesting, but I wonder if folks are willing to offer specific feedback. For example, what content were you accessing when you’d visit the Macromedia site daily but the Adobe site only daily? I’m not trying to defend anything, just draw out the discussion with the hope of seeing some actionable specifics.

  21. Easy cross traavel is of high importance. I love the colours of the renewed site.

  22. It’s very interesting. I’m have hosting stron www and I tell our clients about it

  23. Macromedia has done what they set out to do, which is dazzle those who are not hardcore Flash aficionados.

  24. iuyeyr says:

    Interesting. i checked macromedia.com this morning, and the tweaks seems pretty minimal. i didn’t realize that the reskinning you mentioned and the “Global Nav Bar Tweak” work had been done until i read your entry.Then i went back to the home page and hit Ctrl-F5. All looks nifty!(i had been wondering why the FMA wasn’t set to the color of the background… now i know… 🙂 )