“2 Top Menus? But… Why would you do that?”
I had an interesting challenge recently with one of my clients. They’ve been a start-up for years and just recently began sustaining operations with sales. This is a big stage for a start-up. Product is finally rolling out the door, after many years of expensive R&D supported by investors.
Their investors are still just as important, but they wanted to communicate to their customers that they’re all grown up. Their old website was a maze of investor-oriented fluff without a lot of substance. It was the kind of sandbox an investor could spend hours in and not complain.
The problem was, it was confusing as heck to customers.
I went into the project with two goals:
- Simplify. Simplify. Simplify. Simplify. Simplify. (pause for appreciation of irony)
- Target Investors and Customers
Investors and Customers are two completely different audiences. So, how do you communicate to both effectively? How do you keep it simple?
The first step was distilling the copy. We started by boiling all the copy down to until all the redundancy was gone. When we were left with stray bits of copy that still needed to go somewhere, we rewrote it so that it fit within the narrative.
After this was done, we had distilled 37 pages down to 5 pages and an Investor Relations section (SEC filings, Press Releases, etc.).
The next step was to clearly delineate copy meant for customers, and content for investors.
The answer lay in having two top menus:
After we distilled all the copy, it became clear that eMagin really only has 2 core products: “OLED Microdisplays” and “Optics”. It then occurred to me that we could kill the “Products” menu item and simplify the website even further by eliminating a whole tier.
Whenever you can eliminate something, do so. “Products” doesn’t say anything about what it is that eMagin does. It only buries important content. This would only work for a company with only a few product lines, but this decision served another important function:
Communicating on every single page what it is that eMagin does.
Now, customers don’t care about investing, but investors do care about product. Furthermore, the type of investors that go check out a company’s website don’t have a lot of time or patience. (Then again, Who does?) So, breaking the Investor-oriented content away from sales content was clearly the way to go.
I love the simplicity of this design. The site just looks easy. It’s simple, clean, lean and efficient. Just the way I like it.
Visit eMagin.com and poke around.