Web Development company WEB Twentyone.Com has launched a series of new sites for Australian youth label Billabong, giving the company the ability to maintain and update the site content without future consultation.
The new sites, Billabong Australia (www.billabong.com.au) and Billabong Europe (www.billabongeurope.com) are sub-sites of the original Billabong site at www.billabong.com. The two new sites were the first designed with WEB Twentyone.Com's new content management system, iPUBLISHER, which promises easier management of content at the client end.
Where iPUBLISHER differs from other content management software is in its ability to not only manage text and images, but in streaming media and Flash animations.
"I think there is a significant trend happening in the market, where companies don't want an entire Web department in-house, but still want to manage their content in-house," said WEB Twentyone.Com director Kristian Page. "Clients really dislike having to come back to the Web design company for small modifications."
The content management software doesn't cut the developers out of the site's future however, as in this case, Billabong has signed a contract for the continuing development of its sites over several years.
Page refers to Billabong as "the perfect client", in both the attraction of the content it provides and its approach to using the Internet as a marketing tool.
"If you're interested in the subject matter, you approach the task in a different way," he said. "As a result of having clients like PlanetX and Billabong, the company itself gains a culture, and we attract new developers. Billabong is a really cool client to have - their approach to the Web has worked well for them. They don't get too caught up in spending months on feasibility studies, they just ask what the options are and we deliver."
The new sites have also initiated a change in WEB Twentyone.Com's internal development culture, with developers balancing the trade-off between design and delivery.
In the original Billabong site, the content was dynamic, with objects in motion on all pages. The designers took the approach that this site should wow the viewer rather than provide a great deal of information. The site was targeted at a market that preferred these dynamics, the same audience that enjoyed the various sports Billabong sponsors. But the designers had to be mindful of following the same strategy for the Australian and European sub-sites, which were content-driven.
"We've learnt it is easy to have too much animation and confusion," Page said. "As a result, our designers and flash developers have now evolved to the point where they understand how to design according to delivery, rather than vice versa."