The Adobe.com Transformation project was massive multi-year undertaking to redefine and redesign Adobe's web presence. Ostensibly a marketing task, the goal simply was to drastically improve Adobe's relationship with its customers. However, this meant culling or revamping every product marketing page, every support page, every learning page, every purchase point and more across the site as well as every internal process from policy and strategy to execution.
Team: Ty Lettau, Ryan Hicks, Sharma Hendel, Hennie Farrow, Marc Dennert, Simone Pia, Jae Bae, Hernan Teano, Tyler Gough, Moeka Lowman... and a large faction of marketing, web engineering, web strategy, content strategy and editorial teams.
The original site's challenges from the customer perspective were many; lack of consistency, coherency, predictability. The site was built by hand and had been patched together over the span of more than half a decade, a period of time which saw the integration of Macromedia into Adobe. But the real issues were systematic. Every request from every corner of marketing and beyond carried with it reasons to be an exception to the system the overwhelmed Web team were trying to maintain. The result was a website in utter chaos. At the time, Adobe.com was amongst the highest-trafficked websites in the world yet was a total failure by some important metrics: below-margins-of-error conversion rates and rock-bottom customer satisfaction ratings.
Building a Solution
One of the key requirements was that the new site would be built on a CMS platform. This necessitated a design system for a templated approach which would inherently impose a unifying structure across the site. The pushback from marketers who had previously been free to do as they wished on the site was immense.
The design team was split between content and commerce (the latter lead by Sharma Hendel in coordination with the Sales organization and engineers building an entirely new purchasing engine).
The most visible pages of the transform project were the home and product information pages. Coupled with the new purchase mechanism, these pages lead the way for significant - double-digit - increases in conversion.
Amongst the most highly-trafficked pages on Adobe.com were in the Developer Center. This is an area of the site which was first to be developed in the DAY module system and was also the target of some of the most culling; tens of thousands of pages of redundant and out-dated content were killed off before re-launching the site.
Some of the last pages created were for a proposed re-launch of the aspirational and informational Design Center. Much like the popular Photoshop.com mini-site, content on the Design Center was to be curated pieces done in collaboration with top-notch creatives who would share their work, their techniques and their tools. This work pre-dated Creative Cloud and the eventual acquisition of Behance, so in a way served to illustrate the value of this kind of connection between work and our customers.