Approved Technology

How we went about designing and developing a new website for Approved Technology, a global supplier of premium network equipment.

A view of the Approved Technology home page

Earlier this year, Approved Technology approached us to help with their two business websites. 

Their main business website, originally built using Wix, needed a complete overhaul. 

Their second website is a Shopify website and provides a platform for their B2C arm — AT-GBICS.

We also discussed the requirement to integrate with their OpenCAT catalogue system.

After much discussion getting to know the Approved Technology team and their vision, we decided on a phased approach to keep the project much more manageable. 

Phase 1: Redesign and develop main business website from the ground up using Webflow

Phase 2: Upgrade AT-GBICS to Shopify 2.0, brand with the design from the main business website.

Phase 3 and beyond: Ongoing support with marketing and website optimisations.

From experience, we know that requirements tend to change during development, so the phased approach would allow us to be much more agile.


Redesign and develop the Approved Technology website from scratch.

At the time of writing, phase 1 is complete and is the focus of this Case Study.


Choice of CMS

We knew WordPress wouldn't cut it for the new website. We wanted something that would run well under heavy load; technical SEO was crucial, and super-easy front-end editing was a core customer requirement.

Webcetera has migrated to using Webflow for content managed, business website, which allows us to design, code, and build optimal websites — running on Amazon AWS, high-end caching, CDN, and able to take colossal traffic loads.


Structure and UX choices

The new website needed to be easy to use. Approved Technology has a core customer base of office-based desktop users, but we always follow a mobile-first design philosophy (let's not forget — Google indexes the mobile version).

We created a site map of the new website, which we worked on collaboratively with the customer. The site map proved valuable during development, both as a reference point and to help visualise how users navigate the site; it aided the decision process with questions further down the line.

Buttons are an essential element of any website. So, all buttons would include descriptive text and have an icon to indicate clicking them would open a new web page or tab. 

All best SEO practices would be used, including good semantic HTML structure, optimised images and, of course, quality content.


Accessibility considerations

Accessibility was high on the agenda. We used REM sizing throughout (as opposed to Pixel or EM), which means that people who opt to view websites larger on their viewing devices would see text, images, spacing and pretty much everything scale proportionally. 

All text would be contrast checked against the background colour to meet at least the WCAG2.1 specification


Design

Once the first draft design was submitted and discussed with the customer, we created a staging environment to preview the website. We iterated through about five design options.

Once we agreed on a design, we committed this to the website's 'working version'.

But working as we do, we are fully flexible. New design and structural ideas are easy to implement during development. 


Development

Then the real work began. Developing a website pulls all of the UX, design, responsiveness and accessibility together.

We also worked with a copyrighter and enabled the team at Approved Technology to access and edit the content as the work progressed.

The development required careful project management, and we used Asana to great effect.

We installed and configured Google Analytics and Search Console. We added email marketing (MailerLite, which proved to be a better fit for the customer than MailChimp or the many other alternatives). We used a respected third-party SaaS cookie/script manager to help comply with GDPR.

From start to finish, the project took a little over two months. And we loved every minute of it. Here's to future phases.

If you would like to discuss your business website, get in touch

Approved Technology