Web Site Case Studies - New Homes Guide

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					Web Site Case Studies - New Homes Guide                          

         Case Study
         The FedEx Identity Website
         An elegant solution to a complex problem                                                                 Award Update
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         If you saw Castaway, you will remember that FedEx was cast in a major role in that movie. But what       Featured Site
         had to happen behind the scenes before FedEx got the part? If you know anything about corporate          Special Offers
         identity management, you know that the producer didn't just get to use FedEx planes and uniforms         Feedback
         without some deep dialogs with FedEx. The FedEx Identity site is about streamlining those sorts of
         requests, and automating the process as much as possible.

         FedEx gets every kind of request imaginable to use its identity. It appears on trucks and planes,
         boxes and uniforms, shirts and hats, on TV, and even at the movies. The FedEx brand touches so           Books
         many different audiences that it takes an entire department within the corporation just to manage how    Conferences
         that brand is used and received.                                                                         Direct Mail
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         When a national catalog company started using the FedEx logo to promote FedEx shipping to their
         customers FedEx needed to ensure legitimate and correct usage of its identity. A simple, small
         scale-site was created so that businesses could download approved logo artwork and photos. The site
         conveyed very specific guidelines regarding where and how the identity could be used; logo
         placement, size, treatment in text, colors and more had to meet strict standards.

         The rest of the process was handled manually. The requestor would send their catalog, movie script,
         web page -or whatever they were producing - to FedEx. A FedEx employee, tasked with being the

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Web Site Case Studies - New Homes Guide                          

         "gate keeper," would decide whether the request should even be considered, and, if so, who would
         need to approve it. They would hand carry it to the appropriate person who would eventually return
         it, possibly requiring revisions before it could be used. The gatekeeper would then contact the
         requestor and communicate the required changes. Often there were several cycles of revisions and
         resubmissions, requiring approval from many parties, including the legal department.

         As demand grew the process became cumbersome. At the same time, FedEx was expanding its
         business beyond express shipping to include other shipping companies and services. With each new
         service offering, the number of marks and logos grew and the task of managing the FedEx identity
         grew increasingly complex. It was time for a more sophisticated solution.

         The Solution
         FedEx approached Onlinefocus of Mountain View, CA to tackle the problem. The solution was
         launched in 2003, and recently won the Web Marketing Associations Best In Category award for the
         transportation industry.

         The new site at allows businesses to go online to get approval for their
         usage of the identity. Not only can they download logos, photos and usage guidelines-any documents
         that FedEx needs to see, such as TV scripts or print materials can be uploaded by the requestor and
         viewed online by the designated approvers. The request is moved through a workflow customized to
         the type of project in which the identity will be used. The requestor knows at all times where their
         request is in the approval queue.

         Diverse Users with diverse needs
         Three important requirements form the basis of the redesigned requestor interface.
         1. The process must be painless - FedEx did not want to risk non-compliance by making it
         cumbersome. Existing applicants, already familiar with the approval process, want quick access to
         the downloadable resources and the application form. New applicants-by far the majority-need more
         instruction and "hand-holding." Onlinefocus designed separate paths for the two user groups.

         A guided 'wizard' walks first time users step-by-step through the process of acquiring resources and
         requesting permission. This ensures that they understand and complete the process with confidence
         and accuracy.

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         Users who already know the process, can take a short-cut directly to the resources they need. The
         abbreviated workflow lets them bypass information they don't need, such as the identity usage
         guidelines, while still making the supportive information easily accessible to review if needed.

         For both user groups the left hand navigation area numbers all the steps and makes it clear which
         step the user is on. This orients them to the entire process and encourages them to participate in all
         the steps.

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         2. Because the approval process and appropriate resources vary according to the type of project,
         different information and files are made available depending upon the project type. After users
         indicate whether they want access to logos, photos and copy, they are shown only resources and
         guidelines relevant to the items they need.

         3. A separate but connected administrative web site enables the FedEx brand management team to
         efficiently manage the approval process online.

         An administrative dashboard displays the most urgent information first. On the home page, red text
         alerts the administrator to requests with fast approaching deadlines that are stuck in the approval
         queue. The administrator can easily see where they may need to intervene to keep the request
         moving through the process.

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Web Site Case Studies - New Homes Guide                           

         New requests are displayed in a separate table. The administrator can click through to view the
         details of any new request and put it into the approval queue if it meets certain criteria.
         As the request moves through the approval workflow, applicants, the administrator and approvers are
         all kept informed through a system of automated emails. Approvers can attach comments identifying
         contingencies for approval.

         By transforming what was still mostly a manual process to one that was automated, significant
         burden is lifted from the FedEx resources who handle all the requests.

         The system also allows FedEx to track requests through a series of reports. The administrator can run
         reports based on activity during specific time periods, project types, or type of resource download.
         This way, FedEx can easily analyze usage requests. They can, for example, determine how many
         requests came in for using the identity in movies, how many logos were downloaded, or whether
         requests increased during a particular marketing campaign.

         The Process
         Onlinefocus applied its user-centric design philosophy to create the site. They began the process by
         interviewing key stakeholders at FedEx to ensure buy-in and establish a clear understanding of the
         business goals of the project. Next they interviewed users who were representative of the target
         market to gain an understanding of their goals, needs and objectives related to using the FedEx
         identity. The primary administrator was also interviewed to understand her needs related to
         workflow, and content priorities. This investigative phase identified key factors the design should
         address such as the diversity of the users mentioned earlier.

         Onlinefocus then began designing the information structure and interface that could meet these
         requirements. Interactive mockups were developed to test the design concept on representative users.
         By testing mockups with actual users over a period of time, the designers were able to experiment
         with creative solutions to the interface challenge. User testing mitigated the risk that the project

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Web Site Case Studies - New Homes Guide                         

         would move into the more costly development phase based on untested assumptions. As the design
         was refined and tested the solution gelled, and the product moved into development.

         FedEx reports that the approval process has been streamlined and improved for both the applicants
         and the FedEx administrators.

         View the site at Founded in 1995, Onlinefocus is, a
         Silicon Valley based, web design, development, and creative agency, with offices
         In Mountain View, Memphis, Boca Raton, Cincinnati and Portland. (

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