Hey, we turned 20 last year! That means now is as good a time as any to do a brand new look back on our site. We did one 10-year look back quite some time ago. With another decade in the book, we’re due for a new one. Join us as we take another 10-year look back at our website via the internet wayback machine. And if you want to see what the previous ten years were like, check out the blog here.
Unfortunately, due to Flash no longer being supported, we can’t really show you how much we’ve changed from 2011 to 2014. However, do check out our previous blog on this subject if you want some imagery and explanations there.
A completely different theme/layout – People who have come back to our website today compared to this year will notice something quite interesting. We use a completely different layout today compared to what we used back then. Different plugins to populate the website, a different font, even the theme looks different compared to today. But, considering we’re an organization that’s all about change, it makes sense we’d do something different every once in a while.
Service Engagement Placed at the Forefront – At the time, we had six really cool boxes that flipped over when you hovered over them. “Buy down risk”, “put the ‘I’ back in ‘IT’”, and “Stop the info silo” just to name a few. Each of these boxes highlighted how you can engage our variety of services.
Animation to showcase our talents – Nothing draws a person in quite like some cool animations. We used a few ourselves in the form of data driven animations. One in particular was three animation bars that filled up to a particular percentage based on the caption inside the bar.
Our successes were recognized – It was buried towards the bottom, but we’ve got some sections dedicated to the awards we’ve been recognized for. In hindsight, with how much content that came before it, we like what we’re doing now.
Explanations on every aspect of our website – We had information on just about every part of our website. The aforementioned stuff for one thing, along with clients and contract vehicles. Because of this, we even had one of our slogans, “Change. It Happens,” buried at the bottom.
A very rough bottom section layout – We have a section dedicated to our latest tweets and it was not well designed to say the least. The whole point of that bottom section is to take up a small portion of the screen, not the whole thing if you scroll down far enough.
New focus on services – Still had those cool boxes that flip over at this point. However, this time, they flip over and show services instead of links to “engage our services”. We had boxes such as agile development, program strategy and outreach, along with some brief explanations on each of them.
Cleaned bottom section – The issue with the bottom section on latest tweets and blog posts we mentioned in 2015? Thankfully, we started to clean that up. Still needed a lot of work though. The new theme/plugin we were using still did not have the right aesthetic feel.
Starting to change the font – The font started getting smaller. We try to be efficient with the space we use, so you’ll often find that we tend to change fonts and sizes if we feel we’re saying too little with too much space on the page taken up.
Still a bit disorganized and cluttered with information – Unfortunately, we still were falling into “TLDR” territory with how much content we had on the home page at the time.
Focus – Strategy, design and production – We’ve still got those cool boxes that flip over if you hover over them (side note, I’ve got half a mind to bring them back). This time, however, we’ve cut the number down from six to three boxes. And the boxes focus on three of the four services we still offer today: strategy, design and production. This arguably marks a turning point where our focus ends up today.
One of our slogans is now at the forefront – Finally, we’re starting to behave like a company that’s actually trying to market itself. We put our slogan “put the ‘I’ back in ‘IT’ and ‘GIS’” near the top of the home page.
Reorganized content – The past two years, you could have filled up three or four pages if you wanted to print our home page out. However, it still feels cluttered and mashed together, to the point where it still seems TLDR. We’ve managed to improve how much you’ve had to scroll down. However, we still had to work on our TLDR problem.
A change in font yet again: Likely a different theme at the time.
Began to build our current styled website – If you still come to the website today, you’ll notice that this is the point where our website has the theme it still uses today. Gray boxes, the same font, etc. In fact, looking across 2018, we changed quite a bit throughout that year. The strategy, design, production and development lists were a line rather than two columns at the beginning of the year. A lot of wasted unused space there.
Our “elevator speech” at the forefront – If you look at our screenshot, we’ve got our “hook” right at the top of the page (just below the slideshow that has remained a constant for years). And it’s the same hook we have kept today.
Stuff we took out throughout the year – At the beginning of 2018, we had images to go with our four data types (geo, open, big and IoT). Needless to say, that took up too much space and really didn’t say much about the data types. They were just cool-looking graphics that served no other purpose.
Stuff we added – Our most popular engagement types. Also, finally-perfected bottom section that can be closed and pulled up at the user’s leisure.
Focus on content trimming – At this point, now that we’ve found a theme we really like and would love to stick with in the coming years, we put our focus on content trimming. We wanted to finally get rid of the TLDR problem that plagued us for so many years. Hyperlinks were added to give people more information if they wanted to learn more about a certain section.
New news and awards sections – We wanted to focus more on bragging about recent and past accomplishments. As such, our focus this year was putting “us” at the forefront. We created a new ‘news’ section and redid our awards section. By the end of 2020, both were complete and viewable.
Focus on reorganizing navigation – With a lot of new pages added, we wanted to reorganize our dropdown menu to reflect this.
More awards added – We won some new stuff this year, so we added to our awards section to reflect this.
Reorganized with more links – A few more links were added to give people the chance to learn more about our content if they are interested.
The Coming Future
Our biggest hope in the coming future is to make our website data-driven, and in the process, make it more efficient and hands off. Also, while we do love the current theme we are using, we may very well decide to change the layout for a change of pace. But either way, we want to thank everyone for ten more years of support. We look forward to ten more years of change in our website. We also look forward to seeing how our website reflects all of that.