Case Study: CICM
The Centre for Issue and Crisis Management (CICM) is an independent strategic management consultancy. They specialise in helping organisations build reputation management capabilities, deal with issues and manage crises, provides advice and training to those requiring the ability to avoid threats, develop contingency plans and deal with major crises.
Over the years, we have redesigned and rebuilt their website numerous times, as well as creating their original logo and branding as well as all stationary, including business cards, letterheads, publications, presentation materials and more.
A while ago, one of our contacts in London came to us for a branding and logo set as well as a website for their new venture. We launched the previous iteration of the CICM website not long after, and over the years produced numerous whitepaper articles, presentations and so forth for them. The website, however, was beginning to creak at the edges and show it’s age. It was time for a refresh: a responsive redesign to go alongside their increasing client list, courses and publications.
What we did:
- Comprehensive branding and logo design
- Suite of stationary design (business cards, lanyards, banners, USBs, publications, PowerPoint presentations)
- Graphic design for publications
- Full preliminary website design mockups in Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop
- Completely hand-coded fully responsive HTML/CSS/jQuery website
- Implemented on our preferred Content Management System (CMS)
- Maximised Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
- Built user-friendly publication and course functionality that populates the content across various pages based on existing categories
Both the logo and overall brand focus on the thin red line — The first and last line of protection that CICM provides. This line is always prominent, enforcing the omnipresence of threats and the necessity of defence.
We extended the CICM identity to their regular articles and publications. Available primarily as PDF downloads, both the interior and exterior follow the branding guideline, though with subtle variations where necessary (i.e.: the globe on the front focusses on locations relevant to the article, and images/glossary items added to the interior left column.
The red line adds a powerful visual impact to any medium.
The core target of the website was to promote their services — Consultation and courses — as well as the free articles/publications the staff and guest authors write. Rather than clutter the homepage with related-but-not-quite-important images on a slideshow (effectively hiding otherwise important information), we elected to keep it simple.
A summary list that is set apart from the remainder of the content (to draw attention and improve click-through-rate) designed to the client’s specifications — Gold and grey! This is intentionally different to the white/blue/red scheme throughout the rest of the site, and as such it worked well as an attention-grabbing device. We carried through that styling throughout the site to aid User Experience (UX) — The most important bits and section navigation would always be displayed top-left in the dark grey box. Consistency is good stuff!
Based on user feedback and analytics, ease of getting around to relevant content was vital due to the varied nature of the courses/services. As such, we implemented another fancy feature: Our hand-coded publication function. The old site presented them as PDF downloads (which we designed) with small summaries, but it was a little long-winded for the clients to use and was a little cumbersome for us. Simple, but clunky. This time however we sought to eliminate that issue while promoting the newest, freshest content.
Through our preferred Content Management System (CMS) we built the functionality to add a title, PDF, image and description that would populate numerous sections in one fell swoop: The Homepage gained the two latest articles, a featured article and a random article (that excluded the existing ones so that users never see a duplicate); the Publications section gained a new publication tile for that article and a generated page with either the whole article or a short excerpt (depending on length); and the Courses/Consultation Service pages serve up a random selection of related articles and courses — Randomised from a specified category or categories! Clever stuff.
Mobile and responsive web design is ubiquitous in this day and age, and so we make sure all of our new sites are mobile-friendly and passed by Google’s rigorous tests. As such, CICM is fully responsive and suitable for use on any mobile or tablet device as well as desktops. The client also made use of our SEO package, which means their site gets an extra boost of fine-tuning to the back-end to make sure Google, Yahoo and co. all take kindly to it.
Like what we did? See it for yourself: The Centre for Issue and Crisis Management site can be viewed here.