February 15, 2017Ardelyx Website
We delivered on our promise and launched a fully-custom website including branded science graphics in just under one month.
THE BIG IDEA
CREATE A DYNAMIC WEB PRESENCE FOR BIOTECH START-UPS
Crestovo is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing Full-Spectrum Microbiota™ that harnesses the human gut microbiome. Partnered with THRUST Strategic Communications, they came to us with a basic Squarespace website asking for a new website that felt custom with consistent branding throughout. We delivered on our promise and launched a fully-custom website including branded science graphics in just under one month.
THE CONTEXT & CHALLENGE
LAUNCH A NEW WEBSITE WITH NEW GRAPHICS AND CONTENT… IN ONE MONTH
BACKGROUND & CHALLENGE
Frontend (What Site Visitors See)
When we met Crestovo they had a basic website built in SquareSpace. Crestovo were planning to reveal their potential first-in-class, lead Full-Spectrum Microbiota™ (FSM™) candidate, CP101 soon and they wanted a branded website. SquareSpace didn’t offer the level of customization Crestovo required. We would need to take a different approach.
Content Management System (CMS)
Crestovo was satisfied with the editing abilities of SquareSpace and wanted this feature with the new website. It was important that they could quickly and easily add new career openings and news articles.
Crestovo had a handful of scientific graphics that would need be customized in order to fit with their brand and website.
Crestovo told us during our initial kickoff call that recruiting was really important to them and that they would be adding several new positions to their team. It was important that user pathways through the website for potential new Crestovo employees were clear and simple.
Once the initial Discovery meetings were under way, we settled on a quick launch date of only a month out. This meant there was no time to waste and we would have to be extremely efficient during all phases of this website project.
Crestovo wanted to launch most of their site content in an initial launch phase and then launch special, time-sensitive content a week later.
The big goals with the Crestovo website were quick turnaround and a consistent branding feel throughout the website. Doing great work in a short span of time is always a challenge and we were up for it.
- Implement a relatively new brand throughout the website design
- Showcase an energetic company culture
- Provide scientific graphics that tell the story effortlessly
- Don’t mess up the launch!
Strengthening corporate identity as a company matures
In most cases a start-up biotech company is encouraged to freshen up their brand as they look to mature in their market. Crestovo already had a clean logo so we worked to build a stronger brand to support their growth.
THE PROCESS AND INSIGHT
MEASURE TWICE, CUT ONCE
We use several tools for time management and they become exponentially more important when under a tight deadline. There were at least six people working on the project at any given point with potentially dozens of emails going back and forth each day. To keep all the requests under control we created a Google Sheet and divided requests into relevant categories based on the phase of site creation we were currently in.
Internally at Orrbitt we also used a Kanban system (via Trello) to quickly visualize what was left to do and what had been done. This system provides sanity to big projects by visualizing time management and preventing tasks from slipping through the cracks.
Squarespace is a pretty good website builder software if you need to get a simple website online quickly. Crestovo was able to use Squarespace to get their initial content online. But once you want full, custom branding including custom website sections, things get more difficult.
While Squarespace allows for customizations, the difficulty of making these customizations can become cost-prohibitive relatively quickly when compared to building from scratch. It’s a bit like deciding your kitchen should have been on a different floor of the house… after the house has been built already.
SPEED & AGILITY – WORDPRESS TO THE RESCUE
CMS & BACKEND
We made the decision to move from Squarespace to WordPress. Ultimately it would have been more costly to wrangle Squarespace into submission than to build fresh WordPress templates.
Advanced Custom Fields
We used the awesome Advanced Custom Fields plugin to create a one-to-one editing experience for the Crestovo team. This meant if they wanted to edit content, they could just go to that page in the WordPress admin, find the piece of content they want to update, and change it. Nice and simple. Training for using the CMS took less than an hour.
DESIGN & FRONTEND
Custom Science Graphics
Both the logo and custom science graphics received the branding treatment to provide a consistent look and feel throughout the website. Custom Science Graphics were thoroughly researched and went through several revisions until they were exactly right.
We created a straightforward Careers page and put the link right in the main menu so that potential new hires would have no trouble finding it. In the WordPress admin, adding careers was as simple as typing in the new career, creating a link to it’s PDF, and clicking “Update.”
LAUNCHING THE SITE
Stage Early and Often
We staged the Crestovo website as quickly as possible. This staging site was on it’s own password-protected domain and allowed our friends at THRUST and Crestovo to view the website as we made progress.
Quick Edits Turnaround
Project management extraordinaire, Caton Morris managed the huge amount of emails for change requests by adding them to a organized spreadsheet. This allowed designers and developers to go down the line and check things off one edit at a time – and without worry of anything getting lost. During this project, edits were typically made within a few hours of request.
Two Phases of Website Launch
With our custom-build website in place, breaking the launch into two distinct phases was a piece of cake. We ran the initial launch and everything went off without a hitch. Then when it was time for Crestovo to talk about their new product, it was a simple matter of publishing a few new pages and content pieces right from the WordPress admin.
WE MET OUR DEADLINE AND EXCEEDED EXPECTATIONS
We launched the Crestovo website within our deadline and it turned out better than we could have imagined. There’s no way the same result could have been accomplished in SquareSpace. The icing on the cake was that editing the site wasn’t any more or less difficult than making edits in SquareSpace. Another one in the books!
A Successful Launch
We understand how releasing data can be time-sensitive. We are proud of our capabilities to plan, design, develop and launch on schedule.
Custom Scientific Graphics
We love generating custom graphics for our life science partners. Our experience and expertise allowed us to guide Crestovo’s scientific graphics in the right direction, presenting their work effectively.
Architecture saves money
Crestovo, like many other clients had the need for frequent edits and revisions to their site post-launch. We built an intuitive back-end architecture that enables us to quickly make edits, saving time and money throughout the year.