Right about now, Enidine Web Administrator Brian Plecas' breathing rate is probably getting back to normal. After months of long meetings and a few late nights, he is about to launch the new website he and an international team of Enidine colleagues designed to make it easier for engineers to get detailed information they need on the company's products.
It's actually the second year in a row Plecas has led a website redesign effort for Enidine. The previous redesign cut the number of clicks necessary to get to product information. The current effort cuts the information access time further and incorporates all the company's divisions into one site.
Previously, the separate divisions—Industrial, Aviation, Defense and Rail—had separate websites. "Now, we've combined them into one so engineers can get to their niche quicker," Plecas says.
Additionally, links to all products are prominent on the first screen of the home page, whereas previously they were on the second screen, requiring visitors to scroll down. A dynamic Flash interface combines all products; there are new quick-jump icons, animations that show how products work, and several applications examples that give a quick overview of the technology in action.
A holdover from the previous redesign is the placement of the navigation bars on the right side of the home page rather than the left. It makes sense since visitors are accustomed to finding it here.
In the upper left corner of the home page is a map that gives geographic locations for the company. That helps visitors get to the right spot faster, Plecas says. Also, he strengthened the search feature so it searches by model number and will uncover any pdf available on the products. And, he and his team incorporated more Flash. "It's a bell and whistle, but it adds appeal to the site," he says.
One other element in the redesign: There is a new site for distributors. It's like a B-to-B portal where distributors can track the progress of orders they've placed. While you won't be able to use that site, you can press your distributor to use it to keep you informed.
Plecas emphasizes that the prodigious effort to redesign the site was an international effort. "We worked with Enidine staff all over and made sure to incorporate feedback from customers all along the way," he says.
On another note, the Design News E2E Online Conference on Automotive Technology gets underway May 17. It begins with a keynote interview with Francois Castaing, former vice president of engineering at Chrysler and one of the most sought-after automotive gurus in Detroit today. He gives his thoughts on the differences in quality among U.S., European, and Asian cars and the technical challenges and opportunities the industry faces.
The keynote will be followed by technical breakout sessions on a range of important automotive topics.
Last month, a separate E2E online event included a conversation with the Design News Engineering Achievement Awards. The winners gave tips on how to advance your career as an engineer.
You can catch those and other E2E conferences at www.designnews.com/E2E.
Reach Teague at firstname.lastname@example.org.