Caleza

Client:Caleza

Online:www.caleza.com

Caleza is a nationally certified woman-owned construction management company. At the time they had a flash based website. This presented a few problems. Aside from the fact that the site was outdated, no longer reflecting the growth of the business, there was no way for the Caleza team to update the content of their site. Plus it wasn’t mobile friendly. My goal for this project was to not only solve these business challenges, but also craft an experience that told a better story, better representing the organization’s team members and their work.

The Beginning

The makeup of a construction management company wasn’t something I was familiar with. So I had to get a good understanding of the Caleza business model and how they landed their contracts. What I learned, is although Caleza is one company, its team members essentially control their own stream of construction projects. What this meant, was that when it came to the design of the site, I couldn’t approach this from just a corporate front. The site had to be a mixture of the firm itself and the individuals who make it up. Ideally, a portfolio highlighting the talents of the team members which make up such a great firm. This approach would personalize it a bit, hopefully making it easier for prospects to engage with them.

As with any digital project, I came up with some ideas and produced wireframes to help deliver the overall concept to the team. This is always one of my favorite parts of the process because it’s usually an educational moment for the recipient. This was a different approach for Caleza. I explained to them the importance of going through this stage first to help focus us all on the important aspects of the site. The taxonomy, overall architecture, interactions, content and so on. They quickly latched on to this approach and saw the immediate benefit. They could all focus on what was important for the site instead of getting side tracked with font types, colors and other aesthetics.

Personalization

Part of modernizing Caleza’s new site involved humanizing it. I pitched the idea of infusing photos their team members throughout the site so it wouldn’t appear as cold as their competitors. The problem was the team didn’t have any recent photos that could be used. However, the good news was that they were so onboard with the idea they set out to hire a professional photographer. So with a few of my recommendations on style they made it happen. The team members took two different types of photos. Recreational photos of doing their favorite thing as well as photos in their business attire. I was then able to take these photos and mesh them into the design as I had originally pitched.

Profiles

The team member profiles was really the entry point into the projects Caleza has worked on. Everything revolves around the individual team members. My idea for the profile pages was to create a bit of uniqueness and warmth by using team member photos. As some of the photos were recreational it helped make the case that those behind the firm were everyday people who enjoyed life.

Case Studies

On a good note, the team at Caleza has landed quite a few contracts over the years. The downside was that they really never thought about taking photos of each job site. Part of my initial idea was to build a gallery of some sort to display a blurb about the project with the corresponding photo in all of its high rez glory. But, Caleza only had a handful of photos that could be used. As an alternative I designed a collapsible grid style UI that allows users to quickly view the projects each team member has worked on. The top section of the page accounts for the actual case studies that ties back to the team member’s profile page.

Code

Creating a better experience for Caleza was only part of the job. The other was ensuring they could manage the site themselves. I pretty much went full-stack on this project, not only designing the site but developing it as well. The first step was to code the entire site in HTML, CSS and JavaScript (jQuery). I then implemented an installation of concrete5.org which is a fantastic content management system. What makes Concrete5 so great is that it allows you to visually edit your site by drag and drop. There are other CMS solutions out that currently do this as well however Concrete5 was literally one of the first. Once I had Concrete5 up and running I then baked the new Caleza site that I coded onto of the CMS for easy management.

Launch

Once the site launched every team member at Caleza incurred a 600% increase in sales and retired after 6 months. Ok, not really. Caleza didn’t have any initial KPIs tied to their site so unfortunately I wasn’t able to track any hard evidences of success by way of comparison. However Caleza did report to me over the course of about a month that they were receiving a lot of praise within their industry for their site design as it broke the mold for their category. It was easier for prospects to understand what they do and now when they leave a card behind people can access their site even on mobile devices. This means their site can continue to sell for them without their physical presence needed. If anything this project was a huge step in the right direction for them. It also saves them money in the long run due to the fact they can now self-manage the content on their site.