2020 Wrap Up (finally)

Despite Challenges, Our Clients Did Some Amazing Things

2020 was no walk in the park. It was full of personal and professional challenges. However, there were bright spots for many: time to focus on important initiatives that had previously been put on the back burner, timely social movements that demanded a shift in thinking, and new opportunities for growth and reflection. We were lucky enough to be able to work alongside old and new clients to help them do good in the world, at a really hard time.

How we helped

Billboard

  • Custom wordpress
  • Strategy
  • Web Design
  • Front & Back End Dev

Billboard Music is an iconic brand in the music industry. They came to us early in 2020 feeling like their website didn’t deliver the kind of user experience that one would expect from them. Their content was fragmented and broken down into multiple pages, increasing their likelihood to leave the site without experiencing all it has to offer. With that in mind, we then had the privilege to rebuild their iconic Hot 100 Chart webpages and redesign their entire site.

Our team streamlined the user experience to bring more content onto each page and increase user engagement, leading to more pageviews per session and an look and feel that lived up to their brand. View the project.

Pashion Footwear

  • Custom Shopify Platform
  • Strategy
  • Web Design
  • Front & Back End Dev

Pashion is a one-of-a-kind e-commerce footwear brand with a radically new kind of footwear: convertible shoes. Yes, the heels do come off! We all know that bringing a new idea to market takes a lot of educating the audience. The problem was, Pashion’s team are shoe-experts but struggled with how to use Shopify to tell their story and convert curious shoppers into customers.

Our team worked with Pashion to overhaul every part of the site, including key pages like the homepage, product pages and improved shopping cart experience. We also introduced strategic audience landing pages to capture specific buyers like brides. With these changes, Pashion was able to engage customers with their compelling story, leading to a 71% increase in conversion rates and driving substantial revenue growth in an otherwise difficult year. View the project.

Lean In: What Black women are up against

  • Custom CMS
  • Design
  • Front & Back End Dev

This past year included massive cultural movements, like Black Lives Matter. Our long time client, the Sheryl Sandberg and Dave Goldberg Foundation (SGFF), was on a mission to lend their voice to a moment in history by offering accurate and groundbreaking data on how Black women have been adversely affected in the workplace by both their race and then, COVID. Their goal was to tell the story in a way that was empathic, data driven, and allowed people to take action immediately.

What started as an op-ed, turned into an all-out campaign, conceived and brought to life by an entirely Black team of women within SGFF and our incredibly talented designer Darion McCoy. Darion brought the content to life visually by sourcing appropriate imagery, creating a layout that drew visitors into the story, and leveraged clever design tricks to communicate key points clearly and quickly. With this platform, Lean In was able to move quickly to engage women at a time that was critical to validate their experiences and provide resources to immediately take action today. View the project.

LiveKindly

  • Custom Wordpress
  • Strategy
  • Design
  • Front & Back End Dev

With the increased global interest in plant-based living, our friends at LiveKindly decided it was time to give their vegan news based site a fresh look and feel. Looking for a way to add more value to users without compromising their experience, we worked with their team to identify content priorities and create an overall design aesthetic that would improve time on site and engagement. In addition to redesigning and rebuilding each page, we updated the CMS so that LiveKindly’s team of talented staff could manage content more efficiently.

Giving our clients sites that they can manage themselves is one of our top priorities. LiveKindly can now focus more on spreading it’s mission and engaging it’s audience without worrying about the management of it’s site. View the project.

👌 Good to know

Good design means more trust from your users. Research show that 46.1% of people percieve web design as a top criterion for determining company credibility.1

Lean In and Option B: COVID support

  • Custom CMS
  • Strategy
  • Design
  • Front & Back End Dev

COVID has turned everything upside down. Lean In and Option B recognized this as an opportunity to support those most in need. With a message all about building resilience, they set out to bring resources and information to all, putting a high priority on the minority population that has been disproportionately affected by the crisis. The team at SGFF and Option B had the research, the data, and the resources but needed to bring it to life visually on their website.

Our team worked to develop a user experience that is both inviting and hopeful and delivered the information in a way that’s engaging and informative. Option B expanded its reach and its influence providing valuable resources and support in a difficult time for so many. View the project.

Material

  • Custom WordPress
  • Design
  • Front & Back End Dev

As a large marketing agency with several areas of focus, Material brings a lot of information about their capabilities into one place. Challenged with how to execute a recent rebranding while also communicating a large amount of information in a way that is both visually appealing and engaging, Material needed a third party to help bring clarity and direction.

Our team of designers and developers brought their new brand and a collection of rich content to life so that their site was easy to navigate and informative. In addition, we saw this as an opportunity to help Material build a foundation for their website that could grow with them. Our team customized WordPress to allow Material to manage their site themselves with various content types and position them to easily add to the site going forward. View the project.

👌 Good to know

Load time is a crucial component to establishing a user base. According to Google, 46% of users won’t return to a website with poor performance.2

Sandy

  • Strategy
  • Design

With a forthcoming online platform that the world desperately needs, to bring remote workers together, Sandy is poised to make it easier and more effective to plan, execute, and manage remote teams. The team at Sandy was well underway with platform development when they realized that they had a problem: the system was not intuitive or easy to use.

Our team of UX and UI strategists helped Sandy to smooth out the friction points in the platform—making it both user friendly and easy to navigate. Sandy is now in the position to help the world with the remote work frenzy created by COVID, and successfully launch its platform, making it easier for companies and freelancers to connect. We love any cause that helps people find and do good work. View the project.

Our personal wins

Carolyn joined the team as our first project manager and brings some much needed organization and New Jersey antics to our team.

Chris managed to find a microphone that actually works.

Adam joined as a front-end developer and travelled more than 17,000 miles last year, navigating work-from-home craziness.

Troy showed his face on camera... twice!

Ellen joined as our newest Product Manager and was a huge help on the LiveKindly redesign.

Eric sang a great impersonation of Happy Birthday by Marilyn Monroe.

Despite the odds in a quarantined world, Darion found love!

Alejandro took the plunge into home ownership.

Antonio got kittens!

María managed to "steal" an Amazon Echo Dot in a game from the boss!

Daniel welcomed a new nephew to his family!

Greg lost to his 6 year old daughter in Mario Kart, but that’s a win for him.

Let’s Catch Up!

As I think we’ve all learned in the last year, it’s easy to go months between visits with friends, but now more than ever we need to make an effort to connect. Let’s not let too much time pass without taking a few minutes to say hello. I’d love to hear what you’ve been up to. Click the link below to find 30 minutes that works for you. Looking forward to it.

Greg Allen, President of First+Third

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Sources

  1. B.J. Fogg, Ph.D., Cathy Soohoo, David Danielson, Leslie Marable, Julianne Stanford, Ellen R. Tauber (2002). How Do People Evaluate a Web Site’s Credibility? https://dejanmarketing.com/media/pdf/credibility-online.pdf
  2. Gavalda, M (2021, January 8) A Beginner’s Guide to Website Speed Optimization. https://kinsta.com/learn/page-speed