In 2009 AJ started to investigate the possibilities to either improve on the current web platform or replace it. In october that year the decision was made to replace all the groups sites with new, based on the eNova platform from Wipcore. It was my responsibility to see this through. The AJ sites were first of the four brands in the AJ group to launch. The Swedish site launched in june 2010, the rest of the nordic sites soon after and all 18 sites later that year. The Frimeko brand site launched in early 2011 and the final two brands later.
When we started this project we were all pretty much convinced that the designs and functionalities we had decided, were the best, and that our visitors would have no problems understanding and using our sites. Well, in the summer of 2010 we were proven wrong…
In July 2010 we tested the Swedish site with the help of Mårten Angner. We grabbed 10 people off the street in the popular sea-side resort of Borgholm and offered them two movie tickets if they participated in tests of a web site. They were given a set of tasks to solve on our site, tasks that turned out not to be as easy as we had hoped and it provided us with a lot of information on real and potential problems, which in turn resulted in a few very important changes that drastically improved the usability of the sites. Don’t underestimate the need for testing, and hire experienced UX designers!
With the usability in place, we turned to SEO. Worked hard on perfecting all technical aspects and developed new functionalities in eNova for on page optimizations.
And on talking about eNova… eNova is a brilliant system, but it’s back office is made by engineers for engineers, which makes is near impossible to use unless you have a degree in eNova 😉 But on the plus side, it is highly configurable and allows for writing your own Windows forms controls, and I have probably written a hundred of them by now 🙂
The “old” AJ site before 2010
From here, we went on to completely redesign the AJ sites 🙂