Parametric Technology Corporation’s (market cap $4.4B, 9/14) main external site was hard to use and had hundreds of stale pages. The company also had five international sites that had to be translated on a tight deadline. They needed a writer to revise and cut text to make the external site more readable and reduce maintenance and translation costs.
What I did
I first did a comprehensive usability evaluation of the external site and helped to develop a competitive analysis. I then redesigned the top-level information architecture and created numerous architecture diagrams to get buy-in from stakeholders. After testing the wireframes with several user groups, I finished inventorying most of the top-level content and helped to migrate it to the new structure. Throughout the redesign process, I wrote and edited text, link labels and page titles (see text in wireframe to right, for example). In the final weeks of the 14-month contract I led the development of a style guide for the external site and revised the structure of the IT Department pages on the company intranet.
Several major usability problems with the site were solved by my re-structuring of the content and revisions to the menu system. I also rewrote most of the top-level text. In one three-day editing binge I cut hundreds of pages of marketese and techno-speak from dozens of product descriptions, saving the company several thousand dollars in translation costs. By introducing the recently formed Web/e-Business group to formal information architecture theory and user testing, I helped to advance the company’s Web strategy and mentored several employees and interns.
High point: Initiating and leading the Web/e-Business Group’s first-ever systematic user testing of PTC’s external site.