#dpok Award for the Krones website concept
You and I probably do it every day: surfing – I mean on the web, of course. Reading the latest news, looking up the opening hours of a doctor’s practice or a restaurant, or looking at comparable offers before buying a new bicycle: the World Wide Web is well-nigh omnipresent in our everyday lives. Which is why website operators accordingly make every effort to render their sites as user-friendly as possible. And there are (almost) no limits to the technical possibilities involved. The times in which a website consisted of a static page with lots of text and tiny pictures are long past. Nowadays, generously dimensioned high-resolution images, short, succinct textual passages and links to other topics ensure that the visitors’ attention is grabbed and they spend a maximised amount of time on the site concerned.
At Krones, the big day came last year: we launched our new website concept, which besides the main site krones.com also subsumes many of the sites operated by our subsidiaries. But a new website like this is not created overnight: beforehand, we had already interviewed clients, partners and other visitors to the fair, conducted usability tests by means of eye-tracking, and explored the optimisation potential with the aid of experience maps. We also, of course, drew up detailed analyses of best cases in the industrial sector and the websites of our direct competitors, and inventoried the contents of our existing site.
The appropriate entry mode for every target group
Then it was time for implementation, which we handled in conjunction with the technical service provider comspace and the design team headed by Prof. Wolfgang Gauss: the overriding goal here was to unite on a single platform the requirements of all website visitors – irrespective of whether they are clients, job applicants or other interested parties. In order to offer maximally viewer-friendly orientation right from the start, the users can on the homepage now begin by choosing between the three entry variants of company, products, and career. On the sub-pages they will then find all the relevant information on the subject-matter concerned. If a major trade fair is being held (such as last year’s drinktec), then Krones will quite simply integrate another main navigation option, under which all information themed around the event and the products being exhibited there can be found.
But in the Krones Group there are, of course, more websites than just krones.com itself. Which is why the design concept naturally enough also subsumes the websites of our subsidiaries – currently of KIC Krones, Syskron, Maintec, Evoguard, Milkron, HST and Krones Izumi. This can be very simply implemented, thanks to a new modularised template kit, which ensures a harmonised corporate image on the web as well.
Numerous advantages for our website visitors
“That’s all very well,” you’re probably now thinking, “but what advantages do I actually have when I’m surfing the Krones site?” Of course, the faster entry and improved orientation are not the only benefits the new design concept offers the website’s visitors:
- Responsive design: no matter whether it’s a smartphone, a tablet or a laptop – a flexible web design ensures that the pages match their contents precisely to the user’s terminal and thus guarantee maximised surfing pleasure.
- Faster navigation: a sticky-content navigation feature, a smart-hamburger menu and a dropdown menu ensure that when you’re surfing you can quickly and easily access the menu and thus the sub-pages concerned. There is also an option, for example, in the product overview or the reference section for using a filter based on defined keywords; and there’s a full-text search function with an auto-suggest capability that quickly delivers the desired results.
- Better reachability: since the relaunch, Krones has been using for its websites a worldwide network comprising around 22,000 servers. International visitors link up via a server in their vicinity – lengthy loading times are thus history.
As you will doubtless have realised by now: there’s been quite a lot happening in Krones’ online world – and the result is rather impressive. A verdict shared by a jury consisting of 50 representatives from the academic community, corporate communication and online PR. Which is why it awarded the German Prize for Online Communication – #dpok for short – in bronze in the “Metal and Machines” category to Krones’ design concept for all the group’s online sites. The ceremony was held in Berlin on 14 June. Sabine Kolbe-Weber, Head of Web Solutions, is proud of this award: “The sectoral #dpok honours the best digital communication achievements by companies in 16 different sectors. And we’re delighted that we came out top – next to global players like Liebherr and Trumpf – among the Top 3 in the “Metal and Machines” category. This accolade demonstrates that with our new design concept we have online as well mastered the balancing act of presenting Krones as an innovative, up-to-the-future company while at the same time giving our broad brand and product portfolio a harmonised visual image.”