Since the dawn of time and man, glazed eyeballs have scrolled websites from top to bottom. This historical precedent is, presumably, why every UX site under the sun – including UX NN Group, the gold standard for UX research – says not to mess with vertical scrolling.
Well, we messed with vertical scrolling.
For the recent redesign of Fusionfarm.com, we decided to try our hand at horizontal scrolling. Because, hey, rules were meant to be broken. (Sorry, HR.)
So, what the hell were we thinking?
Two words: brand position.
Yeah, there was a lot of debate before we committed to thinking sideways. There should always be healthy discussion and someone should slam a door at some point in every process. But a lateral read isn’t an odd concept to us in the West. We read left to right. Right?
The result is a horizontal narrative that bridges the digital and the organic, wholly capturing the day-to-day human experience. Technology too often dictates our consumption, our actions, even though the digital should supplement the human.
The new Fusionfarm.com reinforces our position as an agency willing to take chances and invent. Because we don’t believe in best practices. We believe in better practices. Better practices are transformative.
At the end of our client pitches, we drive this point home with a cute meme:
Our words wouldn’t mean shit if we didn’t practice what we preach. So, we decided to transform ourselves right along with our clients and take some (calculated) risks.
How we’ll know if we’re right or wrong
Pre-launch, we tested our prototype design with a few of our brand’s ideal personas. This feedback was invaluable to our process, and while it didn’t 100% inform our actions, it urged us to take stronger action to ease the use of the horizontal scroll. We collaborated as a team and experimented to get it right – or at least get it “right enough” to test with a broader audience. Will it mean our design is successful? We don’t know. Now comes the hard part.
Tools: Google Analytic events and heat mapping will support the rollout of our new design, however user feedback in the form of interviews with our target audience will remain key to future evolution. We don’t have to appeal to everyone, just the right people. And we’ll keep sales in the loop to make sure we’re supporting their needs, too.
Letting Go: There were painful parts of this process, of course. After the design was approved, the initial designer left Fusionfarm. Another designer had to take on the project and reinterpret the design to reconcile with his own vision. Then we had to figure out how to build it, and rebuild it and rebuild it. Every marketer and advertiser knows the hardest client is their own agency. And we’re no different. Ever clean someone else’s house? It’s a lot more fun than cleaning your own.
The hardest part, with all the bodacious ideas we brainstormed, was choosing the best. And not falling so in love with our own ideas that we rejected better or more worthy paths towards the goal. Hopefully, we remain open to evolution and iterate when necessary. And still produce something that makes you remember Fusionfarm.com.
We hope you will join us for the ride.