Case Study: Armor Concepts
Armor Concepts is a security company that focuses on educating consumers about home security and produces products that help prevent break-ins (their largest selling product is one that prevents doors from being kicked in).
When Armor Concepts contacted us, they were in the middle of a web redesign project. This redesign was, in some ways, typical: better organization, better branding, and a nicer look and feel for their online presence. Inaddition, they had national media exposure that was gaining momentum, and needed a website that could better represent their marketing efforts. However, the project had a big challenge: they were in the middle of a big strategic shift and the architecture of the website needed to represent this shift.
The challenge was an incredibly interesting one: Armor Concepts was primarily a product company, producing home security products generally aimed at preventing break-ins by protecting doors and windows. However, they had a sincere passion for educating the public about home security by providing articles and resources that would help consumers understand the dynamics of home security. Indeed, they were looking to thread an interesting needle: a product company that could become known as a content company, without sacrificing their brand around the products.
We clearly had our work cut out for us.
Our work began with several conversations with Armor Concepts, working to establish a picture of exactly who they were now, and where they desired to be. These conversations revealed an intense passion around educating around home security, and revealed the truth that this passion for education would need to be tempered with the realization that their revenues were product-based.
As we worked through auditing the content and marrying their current state with their desired outcome, we realized this: Armor Concepts was really passionate about preventing break-ins. This came out in every meeting (so much so, in fact, that I’m now extremely paranoid about the security of my own home, and will be installing their products on my own windows and doors). While they had a genuine interest in all aspects of home security, their focus on how to actually prevent a break-in was intriguing, and represented what we felt was a significant differentiator.
We ran with this idea – craft an architecture that positioned Armor Concepts as an authority in home security, particularly in the area of preventing break-ins, while providing clear opportunities throughout the experience to display their product-based roots and allow the consumer an easy path to purchase. We carefully constructed areas where content supported the sale of certain products – a sales approach that we felt was less about convincing potential customers to purchase, and more about providing them with solutions that resulted from an organic need based on reading the content.
This project was a blast for us – what started as a difficult and unique challenge ended up in an elegant solution that seemed to fit and represent the brand, while providing ample room for future growth.
How Design Helped
This project had a unique challenge that needed an elegant solution designed. In this case, a typical “reskinning” of the website wasn’t appropriate – Armor Concepts had a conceptual issue that needed to be represented in a physical artifact – a task that only an intentional design process is suited for.
Instead of simply gathering requirements and building to spec, this project required intense investigation and iterative work to uncover solutions. The design process helped take a fuzzy concept and bring it to life in an elegant and appropriate representation.
[At the time of this writing, Armor Concepts is still in development with this project, and launch is still pending. As soon as they have launched, we will include screenshots of the final build and a link to the site.]