I wanted to talk a little bit about the new
Adobe.com web site which launched April 30th. This event also coincides
with the permanent retirement of the Macromedia.com web site. Quick note
for all those sentimental types out there, me included (as I worked on many
macromedia.com site launches during my 9 year tour of duty for that company):
don't get out
your violins yet as many of the best practices from both sites are reincarnated
in the new one. All the content from the former macromedia.com site is now
part of Adobe.com. If for some reason you can't find something please let
Goals and Objectives of "Day Next”
The basic idea was to create a "one company experience” for the web site.
Where there used to be two sites, now there is one. We also wanted to achieve
a level of technical efficiency by creating a single production environment
where before we had two (but I will leave it up to others to write about this).
I have been concentrating on the user experience aspect so I will focus more
on that in this entry.
Elements of the "Day Next" User Experience
With respect to the user experience we wanted to create
a common experience for users as they navigated across the site (as compared
to pre-“Day Next” where we maintained separate sites and user the
experience moving between them was quite jarring). The way we accomplished
this is below.
- New UI for combined site sections.
created merged site sections where
before there were 2:
- Page migration prioritized by user traffic
Migrate high level pages based from Adobe.com into Dreamweaver templates
affording us 100% control over layout using CSS (all Macromedia.com
pages were already in the templates. The algorithm we used to determine
which pages we should make it to the migration list is below.
Algorithm for Page Migration
- Top 90% of traffic (page X is in the top
90% of traffic)
- Strategic areas (page/section X is
very important to the company)
- High level pages (page X is linked from
the global nav or home page)
- User flow continuity (page Y is the
next click from a page X)
- Section cohesiveness (Page Y is in part
of a page X’s section)
- "Light Touch" reskinning of non-migrated pages
Reskinned all remaining pages of Adobe.com that did not fit into the above
migration algorithm so at the very least they had the same global nav,
were centered within the browser window, and had some minor style updates
to them. We did this to promote continuity of site experience.
(EDs) Experiential discontinuities we know about
the majority of page flows will be seemless, we do know that there are bound
to be some wierd experiential discontinuities (EDs). The most glaring current
EDs are listed below.
- EDs that hurt: Travelling to untouched old adobe.com pages
will result in the appearance of the old adobe.com global nav… ouch that
hurts (we know). We are working to convert those pages as we speak.
- EDs that annoy: Travelling from pages in new templates
to "light-touched" pages will result in your local nav (side nav) jumping
from right to left… ouch we know that hurts, too. We are working to convert
these pages as well. We promise!
- EDs that perplex: Sometimes you may get to a page that
appears to indicate we forgot that Macromedia is no longer exists. If you
ever stumble across a page like this (you’ll know it when you see it), we
apologize and are working on it.
There undoubtedly are weird experiences out there that we don’t know about
due to the hazards of working on a site with over 300,000 pages, some of
which have existed since time immemorial. In the case you do stumble upon
something strange, please
let us know.
Much more work ahead
While there is clearly much more effort ahead,
the "Day Next" project represents the first major step in creating
a single website that serves the combined users of both previous sites. Did
we do a good job? You, of course, will ultimately
be the judge of that.
If you have comments, concerns, positive feedback (we humans like to hear
the good stuff too), please let us web team folk know.
Send feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chief Information Architect
May 2, 2006