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ANC site redesign was a team effort

After an ad agency created the branding and home page concept, Creative Circle extended that branding through a library of building blocks for interior pages. Then the team at ANC was able to build their own site themselves.

  • The original home page was dense and non-visual.
    Their new home page is very visual and flexible. They can apply a number of template for headlines and captions.
  • Before this page was rigid and non-visual.
    With their new CMS, headlines can vary in size as can photos. And things can easily be moved around.
  • Before.
    After.
  • Before.
    After.
  • Before.
    After. A range of layouts can be applied to any layer of the site. A grid can be two, three, four or six columns wide and the depth of images can be specified.
  • Before.
    After.
  • This is a fairly simple page with three layers set up in two columns.
    This is what the page layout area looks like in the back end. Users create layers, then can add boxes to a layer of varying widths. Finally, content is assigned to boxes. Virtually any content can be put in any box and the system will display it appropriately.
By Carolyn Flynn
Posted
““No other content management system we came across in our search could deliver the ease of use along with the capabilities to do what we wanted to do. They simply weren’t out there.””
Michael Hopkins, ANC's vice president for external communications

The ANC corporate site launched on a new version of our CMS that allows anyone to assemble pieces into a dynamic web display. In many ways, we can’t take credit for the design of this site because, while we created all the pieces, it’s really the marketing team at ANC that assembled those pieces into a new set of web pages.

The site, at www.anc.com, debuted with ANC’s new brand identity, better positioning ANC as the nation’s leading provider to power sports stadiums, entertainment facilities, transportation hubs and retail venues with animated video displays.

An ad agency came up with ANC’s new branding and the concepts for the home page. With feedback and direction from the ANC marketing team, we extended those branding elements into a series of elements the team would need to build out the rest of the pages.

“We actually delivered the site empty,” said Ostendorf. “Other than the home page, actual page designs were completely in the hands of the ANC team.”

Dynamic is the buzzword about mediasiteQ, the content management system from Creative Circle was recently upgraded to provide even more flexibility, which allows ANC’s site to flash and dazzle much like its stadium displays. “What we really loved about it was the functionality (Creative Circle’s) newspaper website presents to a corporation,” said Michael Hopkins, ANC’s vice president for external communications.

“ANC creates very dynamic displays for large digital displays, like the displays at Dodger Stadium or Penn State University’s sports venues. So they wanted a web site that could be dynamic, too,” said Bill Ostendorf, Creative Circle’s founder and president. “With our new version of mediasiteQ, they can turn up the volume as much as they like. They can apply a different look to every page and combine elements to create thousands of looks – all in a few clicks and with no technical background.”

The concepts behind this latest version of mediasiteQ has been in the making for some time. “One of the main reasons I launched our software arm back in 2004 was that I felt media sites needed web software that was more flexible in reflecting the news of the day,” said Ostendorf.

“Back in 2003, when my favorite baseball team, the Chicago Cubs, won the NL Central division, I remember going to the Chicago Tribune web site to see how they showcased this big event on their web site. Much to my dismay, the sports landing page looked just like it did at the start of spring training and every day during the regular season,” said Ostendorf, a native Chicaagoan. “The lead story was a small headline and a small photo on top of a short lead from the story. I was outraged and I new media web software had to change or newspapers were doomed.”

Creative Circle was the first media software provider to use flexible templates to reflect the news, both for landing pages and list views and then for individual stories. “Not only did newspapers need to be able to signal something was a big deal on landing pages, they also needed to tell stories in different ways,” he said. So mediasiteQ was the first software vendor to develop a wide range of story templates, “because stories are different and need to be told in different ways,” he added.

With this latest version of Creative Circle CMS, ANC’s communications and marketing staff can change the design of any page in infinite ways as the business expands and needs or priorities change.

“No other content management system we came across in our search could deliver the ease of use along with the capabilities to do what we wanted to do,” said Hopkins. “They simply weren’t out there.”

ANC is also using Creative Circle’s paywallQ platform to create customized, private pages for clients. “They can easily put resources or presentations on the web site in a portal behind our pay wall, give a customer a private access login and monitor any traffic or activity in those private pages,” Ostendorf said. “That kind of tool, along with our other unique tools designed for media companies is useful to a lot of companies.”

ANC’s Hopkins applauded the interactivity that the paywallQ platform builds into the site, because now clients can see demos, view their projects and share feedback. “Now we have a robust platform that is not just a branding tool, we can use it as a discussion platform to exchange ideas with our clients,” he said.

“I can’t wait to see what newspapers do with this new CMS,” said Ostendorf.

“It’s kind of ironic that a non-newspaper company was the first to launch with it. But ANC is a kind of media company. They knew about design and knew that wanted to be able to express different stories in different ways. It made perfect sense for them. I think a lot of businesses, corporations and associations would really appreciate the flexibility our new CMS platform provides.”