In the final stages of product development on their new Axient system, Shure needed an online vehicle to not only display brand new product, but also display complex relationships within their new technology system that represented a first for the professional audio engineer.
The Axient system represents a groundbreaking leap forward in the audio engineering space: The ability to specify audio setups that allow total redundancy automatically for live performances where zero-fail performance is not an option.
The first problem was tackling how to present a very complex component based system with a complicated web of interrelationships. Venue size, instrumentation, local frequency ranges, and performance length all presented significant variables.
Use cases for setting up a system were unclear and dispersed across multiple sources in the organization – engineering, sales and marketing all had their input into what the product was. The systems was well suited to tackle problems as esoteric as local laws and audio frequency as well as the pragmatic challenges such as battery life. Our challenge was, how do you make the site do the same?
How do you solve this problem digitally? Simple answer, You don’t.
The initial strategy was to interview everyone who had touched the product across all departments. While some of this time proved useful, some did not. Despite this, through sheer volume of contact patterns began to emerge.
Catapult Thinking had done a large amount of brand work to date, and already made the case to Shure for a system configurator. Once the design patterns began to emerge the course of action became clear, prototype, a lot. Since so many things were so unclear, the best course was to build first and design iteratively.
On top of the site design process, an interactive prototype was built and layers of experience were superimposed as the design process progressed. Through a process of review and validation with stakeholders the end experience began to take shape.
The Axient site and its requisite configuration tool are a site that showcase product suite in an individual context, but also allows for browsing based on the technology that ties the whole system together.
Since building an experience where products are shipped at will – a typical E-commerce construct – was not ideal, the result is a site that informs, allows audio engineers to build their system specification and take that to a dealer for the finishing touches.