Honoring an Organization with a Rich History
In the fall of 2019, Beyond Marketing won the bid to design the new Parachute Industry Association website and we were stoked about it! We felt that this project was tailor made for us as we are familiar with the organization, its membership (we’re a member ourselves), mission and values. Signing the contract to make this an official project was an opportunity for us as we recognized that every PIA member would be using this new site and see our capabilities – . We had to hit a home run!
The Design Challenge
PIA’s requirements to us were to accomplish the following:
- Improve PIA’s brand perception online. The prior website served its purpose but had become outdated.
- Showcase the membership. PIA represents many different facets of the parachuting industry from riggers, military organizations, dropzones and manufacturers. The website needed to represent everyone.
- Offer an e-commerce solution for more than 500 downloadable documents.
- Combine two websites into one – PIASymposium.com and PIA.com.
- Allow for quick and easy navigation to the highest trafficked pages.
- Create a multi-faceted search feature for the hundreds of PIA members across multiple categories.
- Showcase both the history of PIA and the achievement of its membership.
- Offer clear messaging on the benefits of joining PIA with a clear call to action.
- Highlight / Advertise PIA’s largest event – the PIA Symposium
With the above objectives on the forefront of our minds, Beyond Marketing’s web design team invested in excess of 250 hours and shared more than 400 e-mails with PIA’s Marketing committee to get every nuanced detail just right.
We could easily write multiple pages about the design concepts of the home page alone, but we used both design and data to help build out the homepage beginning with the hero image above the fold. Website design trends are moving away from sliding images as they tend to distract from the overall user experience. Using a single static image couldn’t possibly embody the multiple facets of the organization, so we used three separate images to showcase the industry today as a whole – riggers, manufacturers and of course, skydivers.
The data showcased the highest trafficked pages and we wanted to ensure the end-user could quickly navigate to the most used pages without having to utilize the main navigation structure. Each element beyond the quick navigation square was focused on a hierarchy of needs from showing the value proposition of joining PIA to its events, latest news, membership and awards.
The largest component of the website is the e-commerce store which contains more than 500 downloadable products in the form of specs and standards. The old website had some hiccups with user experience which caused a lot of hands on work for PIA’s administration team. Our goal was to streamline the experience for both the PIA admin team and of course, the end user.
The PIA.com website was a pleasure to create as we were designing for an amazing group of people that put their trust in us to develop a website that met their needs and represented this unique brand.