DHL approached us to renew their DHL.com platform in full and during the discussions and estimations we recognised the need for really change the traditional approach for a big platform project.
The DHL internal project team was ready for a change.
Instead of spending a year in just designing the experience and hammer the design through the political structure of the client, we took the agile road: Let’s design and build a beta site, and test this with real users and that voice of the DHL customer would help to drive the new portal into more customer centric direction.
This meant that we needed to design a system that would adapt of course to different screens but also that we couldn’t just go and design templates. We needed to create a design language for DHL that could be used in various different situations and templates. We decided to go with Brad Frost’s Atomic Design approach, that is a toolbox for creating a design system, all responsive and mobile first.
The benefit is that when working with a design language or a design system, is that you can design and build elements and components that match to each other.
This approach turned out to be a real winner in getting the refreshed brand into the digital platform and get the designs fast in the browser, where our front end designers were able to build the designs quickly as responsive prototypes. These helped the stakeholders really understand how the website was going to react in real devices. It also helped us to quickly try out different solutions straight in the HTML without the Photoshop ballet in between. The communication between designers and developers was crucial to the success of the approach.
With the new components the Business Unit website owners can create a multitude of different pages, since the templates are dynamic and can be built from different components just by combining as seen fit. This gives the editors more freedom and still keeping the websites on brand and consistent.