Headquartered in Paris, France, and operating in more than 30 countries, Capgemini is a global consultancy that improves process and reduces cost by treating its blue-chip clients as collaborative partners. Many companies talk about that kind of partnership but Capgemini actually means it.
Working with Stopdesign (talk about collaboration), Happy Cog redesigned Capgemini’s site to reflect the company’s commitment to collaborative partnership.
Live the brand in every detail
Collaborative partnership was key to the company’s rebranding. We took this idea to every level of the site. Reflecting collaborative partnership meant preferring natural language to buzzwords and consultant-speak. You can see it in something as basic as the way we labeled the navigation menu. Instead of the usual categories based on corporate structures and sales divisions, we use clear, ordinary language to connect the visitor’s needs with the company’s services.
Au revoir, drop-down menus
Shading conveys subject depth.
Our information architecture also introduced something we call spectrum navigation. (See it in action on this Automotive page.) As content becomes more granular and the visitor digs deeper into ever-more specific topics, sidebar hues reflect the depth of the path.
While the spectrum lets visitors drill up or down with a click, sibling linkage is handled contextually, in the main content area of each page. The combination of spectrum navigation and contextual linkage replaces the previous site’s tedious and poorly usable drop-down menu structure.
Likewise, the open, spacious visual design allows visitors to scan or dive into a tremendous amount of data without clutter or confusion. Not only is it one of the cleanest designs in the category, it is also among the first to use standards-based semantic XHTML and CSS layout. Special features include smart type sizing. Choosing a page at random, visit Industries and use your browser’s built-in size widgets to make the text bigger. As the text enlarges, so does the container for the header graphic. The site is filled with touches like these.
All this and content, too
As type size increases, so does container for header graphic, showing more of the image.
Human-friendly IA and design are all well and good, but what happens when the marketing people start filling the site with copy? We created strict content guidelines to help Capgemini’s in-house staff find and eliminate vagueness and buzzwords, replacing such stuff with informal yet businesslike language that reinforces the company’s emphasis on true collaborative partnership. (And in a subsequent engagement, at their request, we helped Capgemini create page after page of the kind of copy their plain-speaking brand requires. Yes, we do that, too.)
Last but not least, we designed and built a powerful and versatile custom content management system for the new site. Powered by PHP and housed on low-cost, reliable Unix servers, the system does everything a modern CMS should do, includes such niceties as contextual help, and supports the site’s sophisticated use of web standards.
Research, information architecture, graphic design, user interface design, editorial consulting, content guidelines development, writing, editing, style guide development, CSS/XHTML template development. Launched 17 May 2005.