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UX Design | Website Development 

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raSmith is a multidisciplinary civil engineering and surveying firm that serves the private sector nationwide and the public sector in Wisconsin. Combined with their experience and breadth of services, raSmith develops innovative solutions for projects of any size.

New WordPress Theme, Improved Organization Helps Visitors Navigate Website

raSmith’s previous website was built on the WordPress platform with a highly customized theme that couldn’t be altered to accommodate a new or refreshed design. Too many animations and complex navigation were detracting from the company’s goal of making sure clients quickly understood its full-service capabilities and market reach. When it came to making changes to page layouts and other site modifications, raSmith had limited ability to improve the look and feel of the site due to several layers of inaccessible code. raSmith wanted its internal marketing team to be able to manipulate all aspects of the website and refresh the design for the future. That’s when the raSmith team reached out to Northwoods’ WordPress experts.

The Situation

The design and animation on raSmith’s previous site not only made it difficult for users to navigate certain areas, but also made it challenging for the raSmith team.

raSmith had limited ability to make design and content changes to its previous site.

raSmith needed expert advice on how to improve the site’s navigation and how best to organize content to showcase the company’s multiple services and markets.

The Solution

Northwoods migrated raSmith’s website to a new host that included a staging and production environment for easier maintenance.

Northwoods back-end developers modernized raSmith’s WordPress site by providing custom solutions that allowed raSmith’s team to fully edit the website.

Northwoods audited the existing site theme and plugins and recommended solutions to create a more manageable platform.

hand-drawn bird, chirping

Northwoods was able to turn our website around into a highly functional site for our users and our internal team. We appreciate the fact that we are now able to make whatever changes we want in the future, whether it's adding a whole new section or completely refreshing the design.

- Karen Wiesneski, Marketing Manager, raSmith

Project Portfolio 

Showcasing hundreds of projects can be overwhelming to users looking for specific project examples. Northwoods added a simple filter (shown below) to their portfolio to let users to search by markets and/or services. The light gray and white colors used within the filter itself provide a clean, organized user experience. 

The listed results display the project name, image, location, and a brief description. This information is just enough to help guide the user in selecting what portfolio items to explore further. 

Card images feature a zoom effect that’s triggered on hover – a subtle change that captures the user’s attention and adds an element of interactivity to the design without negatively impacting site speed.

Overall Website Design

A light blue overlay was added over most of the photos to create cohesiveness throughout the site. This effect unites the imagery and allows the text to be legible no matter the colors used in the original images. 

The dual-color headings and buttons play off the dual colors used in the logo. This small detail strengthens raSmith’s branding and provides a unique element to text-focused areas that feature a significant amount of white space. 

The page layouts are simple to purposefully direct the user’s focus to imagery - the most important component of the design. The site’s imagery shows off raSmith’s portfolio of work, the team behind the scenes, and provides insights to their work culture far better than words alone could do. 

The Outcome

raSmith now has full access to its website with the flexibility to add new services or content whenever necessary.

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