Forsythe Technology

For two years I managed this site from the hours of 9-6.  Like many big companies, they were hesitant to change what was working.  But change the site we did.

Project Overview:

Forsythe was my employer for many years.  For two of them, I was the Interactive Media Specialist.  Through small changes, we were able to make the site more SEO friendly, introduced the company to analyzing their web traffic, added video content to the website, improved the user segmentation of the site, and vastly improved the management process.

Forsythe Logo

See the site: www.forsythe.com

Project Details:

Several Projects Really

How do you express a 5 year career on a portfolio site?  By highlighting the best parts of a 2 year position in as clear a hierarchy as possible.  And ideally with a table of contents for quick scanning…


Internal Projects: I Could Tell You, But I Would Have to Kill You:

I worked not only on the external site, but a private website for employees only – the company intranet.  There is a wealth of cases and success stories from managing portions of the intranet.  But I cannot show those private pages. I can only show you the public work completed.

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Video Streaming, Like YouTube Only Better:

My title at Forsythe was Interactive Media Specialist.  That is a broad title, with much grey area that can be included. Which is why many graphic and web projects were bundled into it.  But one thing was clearly in my title – video on the web.

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Viewer Segmentation, a “Landing Page Optimization” Redesign Project:

Often a project requires many roles.  In this project, I acted as a project manager and designer.  And as a designer, I was utilizing user experience skills and SEO skills.  There was significant research and analysis done to justify a change like this to a large corporate site like Forsythe’s.

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Analyzing Web Traffic:

  • Re-initiated analytics on the site after over a year of disrepair
  • Ran reports, performed basic analysis, suggested business applications for such data
  • Tested several vendors, identifying their differences and benefits for use
  • Advanced tools such as IP tracking, session details, funnels
  • Performed data analyst work – telling the story behind the numbers

 

Improving Efficiency, an Ongoing Effort:

  • Made it a yearly goal of mine to improve processes around the company’s web presence.  The previous process was too complicated, representing a previous generation of technology
  • Higher level of design and site sophistication, incorporating more design elements, sophisticated templates, and custom page coding
  • Improved process for repetitive tasks – ex. creating map of locations, streaming video, homepage ads.  Non-technical staff could better maintain frequently-updated pages.
  • Trained nearly a dozen people to maintain the site. Received many compliments about training skills, including from the training department of the company.
  • Was on a committee run by the IT department to create new web templates and ensure their adoption across the company.

Search Engines, Inside and Out:

Your site can have the best content on the internet.  But if people cannot find it, they won’t spend the time to look for it.  We took several actions to improve not only Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for external sites like Google or Bing, but to improve our own site’s search engine. When considering user experience (UX) design, a web designer should realize that a well-placed search bar can be more helpful than the most intuitive site navigation.

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Email Marketing, the Greatest Challenge Yields the Greatest Victory:

Email marketing is an often overlooked part of design and marketing.  Not as glamourous as websites, nor as permanent, email design is a tough skill to manage. In my experience, many designers claim to know how to work with email.  Yet when the end designs are tested, there are several issues designers often overlook.

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Video Production and Management:

  • Company paid for training in Final Cut Studio by Chicago Filmmakers Association on personal hours
  • Used Final Cut skills to produce a 3 minute highlight reel of Marketing’s video services. Also re-edited a 30-second commercial for our annual sales meeting.  Also on three separate occasions, used skills to help other Forsythe employees with their amateur corporate videos.  All videos were shown to full staff of 900+ employees
  • On separate occasions, company sponsored training in iMovie and Podcasting by Columbia College Chicago on personal hours.
  • Purchased $15,000 of video equipment to create a video studio/production/editing studio on site.  Managed equipment and studio use across the company.

Homepage Redesign, More Than a Refresh:

As a result of research I did into the emerging trends of web design, Forsythe embarked upon a project to change the home page of their website.  Simple right?  Not really.  In large companies, especially those who consider their website to be a sales tool, change is slow, must be well-justified, and the result thoroughly tested.

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