A restructure and redesign of a site for North America’s largest manufacturer of hardwood plywood. Teasing a sprawling database – accumulated piecemeal by the company over ten years – into coherent information sets, we developed a set of pagetypes derived from our identity work with the company. The result is a site that is much more user- and search- friendly, modern in feel but without alienating the company’s relatively conservative customer base. The back-end work was done by the client’s in-house Web services department.

Index/information pagetypes

At left, the index or home page; at right, a pagetype developed for static corporate information: in this case, corporate history.

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Product pagetypes

Typical product pages, general and product-specific, showing product browser at left.

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Veneer finder

For Columbia’s veneer division, Pinch developed an interactive veneer finder, allowing visitors to browse available products by species, grade, thickness and dimension: the large, detailed image at center would refresh according to their choices.

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Customer service pagetypes

At left, interactive dealer locator, using Microsoft MapPoint to find Columbia dealers closest to the user’s location; at right, the manufacturing plant locator, showing distributors which products were manufactured where.

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Ask the experts

“Ask the Experts” was probably the most popular feature on Columbia’s old site. Pinch orga
nized it for ease of browsing, grouping all navigational infor
mation (category browser, search and question submittal form) one one page, and above the fold.

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Outreach pagetypes

General corporate pagetypes (employment finder, press resources) using the same simple, one-page left-to-right browsing logic deployed across the site.

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