Rethinking the B2B Website
HARMAN’s Connected Car division and the OSK teams in Cologne and Berlin are working together to pursue a new direction in B2B communication. With the relaunch of car.harman.com, HARMAN establishes itself as a pioneer of automotive development. Following the new paradigm “Experiences per Mile” (ExP), HARMAN is focusing on a holistic, user-centered approach instead of on classic vehicle data such as hp or the number of cylinders.
The project was a close collaboration of all team members – from the USA, India, Karlsbad, Munich, Cologne and Berlin – and applied the very latest technology to create a website with groundbreaking design, user experience and layout. The agile and collaborative work ethic in workshops, meetings and phone conferences ensured a common understanding for each iteration of the development.
This high degree of transparency and alignment was the basis for the short development time and go-live after only few months. Gradually, the Content Pool was extended, and new functionalities were implemented. In time for the CES 2020, the redesign had its start in the ExP layout.
The consumer in the center of automotive development
The site’s content structure differs fundamentally from that of regular B2B sites because it does not focus on products and services. Instead, it has the look-and-feel of an online technology magazine: lifestyle imagery, big headlines and animated elements draw the reader in to explore. A central structural element is four pillars of consumer benefits that allow prioritizing the feelings and needs of the consumers.
HARMAN thus demonstrates that it registers and anticipates the questions and expectations of tomorrow’s consumers, and is developing solutions for these, which it offers to its (B2B) customers. At the end of this content funnel are concisely presented HARMAN Automotive products that will shape the next era of mobility.
Straightforward, explorative user experience
Design and user navigation were both completely redesigned for the relaunch and visually reflect the content structure. The homepage offers a broad and appealing spectrum of topics, while the interactive platform provides quick insights into the articles presented – supported by intuitive animations, powerful imagery and teaser texts. Equally appealing is the way the “experiences” are introduced as cards in a banner. Content from other platforms is also directly accessible e.g. via YouTube or podcast players.
The user’s attention is guided more specifically as he/she dives deeper into the structure to product pages. Instead of global topics, the product pages themselves focus on respective highlights and benefits. The use of white space also guides user attention as a setting for products and services.
Responsiveness, modularity and a modern CMS form the basis for continual development
The technical basis for the new website is the CMS Drupal 8. It offers maximum editorial freedom as the new pages are assembled from a toolkit of existing modules enabling the website to grow continually. Consequently, a specific area was created for the CES, dedicated to HARMAN’s presence at this crucial trade show. A special highlight is the 360° tour enabling virtual walk-throughs of the CES booth – in VR if desired.
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We have developed a model for the creative process, which consists of an interplay between planning, conception, design and development handoff.
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