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The New And Improved Sage Exchange Website Launches

October 30, 2013

Tom Lambert
Tom
After years learning everything Tom could about web technology and digital marketing, he co-founded CandidSky. Tom loves coming up with new ideas and developing products in his position as Technical Director.

We’re pleased to announce the launch of the new Sage exchange website this week and would like to thank the teams on either side for the hard work they have put in over the past few months.

The Project

Sage exchange is an accountancy community and publishing platform which provides information, resources and support to accountants in practise and their clients.

Sage wanted to launch their third incarnation of the Sage Exchange website, following the original pilot, the second CMS driven iteration, and now the third; a bespoke block CMS driven platform. They wanted to make it easier for their marketing teams to  create pages and content whilst ensuring that mobile and tablet browsers enjoyed the same great user experience as desktop users.

We proposed an innovative drag and drop interface, allowing content creators to arrange the page exactly as they saw fit. We wanted administrators to able to arrange their content on a page and publish it within minutes. We wanted to allow marketing initiatives to progress quickly from concept, to approval, to live in a short space of time, and for all this to be done by a single user with no coding or web design skills. We didn’t limit this to text and images; the staff can drag in dynamic elements such as polls, comments and forms.

Large corporate websites can often become cluttered and convoluted which we feel diminishes the user experience. Instead we opted for a trademark simplistic and clean design that fights the conventions of a traditional corporate website whilst staying consistent with the brand guidelines.

The end result was an incredibly sophisticated system hidden beneath an elegant interface. One of our guiding principles is simplicity and this shines through in the system that we designed, for both visitors and administrators.

sage homepage screenshot

The CMS

Usually when websites are built with a CMS (content management system) it allows creators to change a certain amount of content within the restriction of a WYSISYG editor. This editor emulates the controls of a word processor, but the result is often sub-standard. These editors aren’t cut out for the task of arranging content on a page, as they are usually limited to one controllable area per page. Even with multiple editors what you see in the editor usually isn’t anything like what you end up with on the page. We wanted content creators to see the page exactly as visitors would, then pick up elements and move them around the page, make columns larger and smaller, and arrange the page in a “front end” view until they were happy with them.

Check out this video for a quick preview of how the block CMS system works:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lRmsNmQLww8

What’s next?

Plans for Sage Exchange are still under wraps, but we can say that we will be focusing on bringing in more community orientated areas, expanding the functionality of the CMS system to give content creators even greater control, and rolling out regional versions of the site.

 Visit The Website

Feedback from Sage

CandidSky have been extremely easy to work with. They are organised and friendly and have an in depth knowledge of digital that becomes apparent as soon as you meet them.

They used their knowledge to suggest practical changes to our digital strategy that have allowed us to deliver tactical campaigns, and were able to understand our complex requirements and translate them into an actionable plan.

We have been extremely pleased with CandidSky. Their attitude and ability to deliver results have helped to drive our marketing forward.

Will Partington – Digital Editor, Sage Exchange

 

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