Plansee HPM, the leading specialist for high performance materials, has a new look for its corporate website. We worked with Plansee to relaunch both the technology and the content of the site, where users can access specialised information on Plansee HPM’s areas of expertise and on their global approach.
However, the new platform is much more than a typical company website. Existing customers can either follow a link to order in the shop, or they can log in to the customer portal developed by Unic, where processes are integrated with the ERP system. If, on the other hand, a user is simply looking for information, they can find it in the fascinating world of high performance materials.
We developed the solution using Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) as a starting point, and it is based on a headless architecture.
- 27 people in the team
- ~700 tickets
- 11 development sprints
- 40+ components developed
Target Groups – Breaking Up Informal Complexity
How do you depict over 100 years of company history including tightly interwoven areas of expertise? How do you guide users through specialist and therefore multi-layer content?
To counter this complexity, we developed a global product vision for Plansee HPM and used it to create a digital compass. The compass guides users through information that has been restructured in line with newly developed access and navigation concepts. Defined user journeys help individual target groups access Plansee.com right where they’ll find the content they need.
Although presenting an impressive amount of information, we have managed to keep the navigation structure to just two levels. From the various company groups to the mines in Chile – the whole value chain can be accessed in an informal way.
Industries and Product Details
Newly created industry pages offer an additional starting point. Site visitors can use them as a springboard for diving into specific materials or product worlds. And talking of products, we didn’t just redo the detail pages. Users can now apply search filters to sort by product name or characteristics and then display related company or production locations.
Finding Contacts and Locations
Who do I actually need to contact? One way to find out is by using the detailed interactive map with an array of filtering options. Drawing on intelligent tag management, the system identifies a specific personal contact for the user. Editors maintain the individual points of reference centrally in the back end. The interactive map then pulls out the contact person’s current information, visualising it based on filters and IP. This allows Plansee.com to establish maximum relevance between user and contact.
What Exactly is Molybdenum?
Right from the beginning, we focused on knowledge transfer, aiming to help users understand even the most complex product. Information is grouped on individual material pages, and readers can use tabs to jump to the various metals, such as molybdenum, tungsten, tantalum or tungsten-based composites. They can switch from tab to tab without extra loading time, while remaining on the public website.
As a special feature to address the high density of information, we defined anchor points to help users navigate through the texts.
Module, Content and Experience Fragments
To meet the requirements of the various target groups, we defined structural and content-related focal points with individually designed modules. Plansee.com also combines content and experience fragments as a form of textual and design-oriented enhancement. These consist of tailored content paired with design elements that staff organise centrally in the back end. Structured data and pre-configured components allow these fragments to accompany site visitors through complex sections of information such as accordion modules, text modules and animated graphics. This not only makes the content easier to consume, but also facilitates editing and maintenance.
While users can access several hundred pages in a total of seven languages, all system and content maintenance is handled by just a few editors, without any programming knowledge. In other words, Plansee.com combines clarity and ease of use in the back end with centralised functions.
Technical Structure and Scalability
As mentioned above, Adobe Experience Manager is based on a headless architecture, meaning that the front and back ends are kept separate. For instance, you can make development-related changes in the front end, independently of the back end, and vice versa. During operations, the front end accesses the back end via APIs, calling up the required data.
Business applications in particular are highly scalable and reliable as standard. That’s why we map the integration of all peripheral systems using a microservice architecture (container). During peak loads, additional containers, which support request processing, start automatically.
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