FINE Design Group, of San Francisco, California, U.S.A., won a Gold Stevie® Award in the website awards categories for Best Business Services Web Site in The 2012 American Business Awards, the premier business awards competition in the U.S.A. (March 27 is the entry deadline for the 2013 ABAs. If you haven't yet done so, you can request your entry kit here.) Their redesign of T.Y. Lin International Group’s website has gone on to receive worldwide recognition; here’s how they did it.
T.Y. Lin International Group’s projects are big. Really big. Like bridges, airports, and highways big. And the size of these projects is measured not just by their scale, but also by their influence on the world’s infrastructure. Their new web presence reflects the impact that T.Y. Lin International Group has as one of the world’s pre-eminent engineering services firms.
FINE Design was asked to create a new website that would convey the depth and breadth of T.Y. Lin International Group’s services and the magnitude of their projects. The resulting website design highlights hundreds of projects, spanning seven market sectors and 53 offices, in a filterable portfolio. Like all T.Y. Lin International Group projects, a glamorous exterior is supported by a solid foundation: a content management system robust enough to keep the site fresh in multiple languages.
The firm’s founder, T.Y. Lin, pioneered concrete techniques that have enabled the construction of giant infrastructure projects around the globe. Started by him in the 50′s, T.Y. Lin International Group today continues this pioneering work. The company has expanded steadily over the years and is now a worldwide firm with a strong presence in both Asia and the United States. Its completed projects, such as the new San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, are used every day by tens of millions of people.
The aim of the re-designed website was to demonstrates how T.Y. Lin International Group has been unified behind their one global vision. The role of FINE Design in accomplishing this was to encompass all aspects of strategy, design, and technology applied to a long list of site features and benefits.
Launched in September 2011, the primary goal of the new T.Y. Lin International Group website was to convey the firm’s ‘One Global Vision’ message, as well as the full depth and breadth of the firm’s service offerings and the magnitude of its projects, to audiences in the U.S., China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, and around the world.
The re-designed website features156 projects; seven market sectors (with 45 project types); 11 services; two regions; and 53 offices. The site is in both English and Chinese.
The home page provides a dynamic gallery of “featured” projects from diverse market sectors and regions. These projects change positions with every new visit or refresh of the site, so a visitor will never see the same pictures displayed in the same spot. When visitors move their cursor over an image, a “hover” state displays the project and location; they can then click to go to that project. The homepage is fully customizable to feature any project on the site.
Market Sectors & Services
The site provides an overview of T.Y. Lin International Group’s lines of business, including what they do, their expertise, and key clients. It also showcases featured projects in an image gallery at the top. Visitors can use the arrow button to scroll to the right to view more. To view projects specific to that market sector, click on any of the links to the right (view all or by project type). To the left, there are links to the latest news specific to that market.
This is the heart of the website. The projects area provides a flexible and comprehensive tour of the T.Y. Lin International Group portfolio, with robust filtering capabilities. All featured projects appear when you first land, and the user can select either “by Market Sector,” “by Service,” or “by Region” to search accordingly, depending on their interests and intent.
This area provides a description of the region—Americas or Asia Pacific—and links to featured regional projects in a gallery which can be customized and changed, together with a list of all projects based in that region (with thumbnails). It also features an expandable drawer, listing all of the offices and contacts, should a visitor want to get in touch directly with a particular office.
This section includes the history, mission, leadership, and people of T.Y. Lin International Group. There is a Careers-specific page with employee spotlights and a link to current openings. This section also includes a news section featuring company news, press releases, social media links, RSS feed, and more.
The Contact Us page provides a robust and user-friendly way to navigate and view offices by region. By clicking on “Contact this Office”, a modal window opens prompting a user to type in their message to send to that particular office.
Custom “tours” of the website can be set up by staff for prospective clients. This is a password-protected feature, which is accessible at the upper right corner of the page.
Content Management Systems (CMS)
The CMS is extremely robust and extensible and is the primary engine behind the website. Not only can administrators readily add as many projects and people as they’d like, but they can add additional services and market sectors as the focus of the company evolves. Layered on top of it is a TMS (Translation Management System) that facilitates easy entry/edit of both English and Chinese.
This was a significant launch for a significant company. And just as T.Y. Lin International Group’s projects frequently garner awards, so has the website. Since its launch in September 2011, the T.Y. Lin International Group website has won the Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS) National Marketing Communications Award, the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Gold Quill Award, the Web Marketing Association WebAward, the Interactive Media Award (IMA), and the Zweig Marketing Excellence Award
The T.Y. Lin International Group website is a perfect example of how creating a company website is so often an act of defining the company itself in one all-encompassing space.
“Winning a Stevie Award means a lot to us, because it's an award judged by business professionals,” says Josh Kelly, managing partner at FINE. “And the T.Y. Lin International Group website is a perfect example of how creating a company website is so often an act of defining not just a brand, but the company itself.”
About Josh Kelly:
Josh Kelly is managing partner of FINE Design Group, a digital branding agency with offices in California, Oregon, and Michigan. He has more than 20 years of professional experience in marketing on both the client and agency side, with a focus on new products and emerging technology. Kelly has worked with companies such as Visa, Symantec, Apple, CBS, T.Y. Lin International Group, Kimpton Hotels, and Anchor Brewing and is also an instructor of Integrated Marketing Communications for the University of California, Berkeley.
About FINE Design:
FINE Design Group is a digital branding agency with offices in San Francisco, California; Portland, Oregon; and Traverse City, Michigan. FINE Design develops award-winning web, mobile, and social media destinations for world-class brands, with a focus on wine and spirits, architecture and engineering, hospitality, and consumer technology industries.
About T.Y. Lin International Group
T.Y. Lin International Group is a global, multi-disciplinary engineering services firm recognized for solving some of the most significant infrastructure challenges of our age. For more information go to www.tylin.com.