Matchbox Design Group is a St. Louis based full service digital marketing agency that specializes in branding, web design, website development, mobile app development, social media, SEO, SEM or AdWords.
We have been in St. Louis for over 9 years and our office is in the heart of downtown on Washington Avenue. You can visit our website at http://matchboxdesigngroup.com or give us a call at 314-849-6969 to speak with someone about your needs today.
This information originally appeared on the Matchbox Design Group Website found here.
Quincy University is a small Franciscan university in Quincy, Illinois, that offers a wide array of degree programs and student activities on their scenic campus. We have been working with Quincy for the past five years on a variety of projects. Back in 2013, Quincy University approached us to help design their website. We developed new features on the site and translated their new brand image into a fresh presence on the web. Here is our website overhaul case study
Fast forward to 2015. Once again we had the opportunity to work with Quincy University on a very big project.
This time around, Quincy University’s Marketing Director asked us to redesign, rewrite and redevelop the entire university website. We had to take into account what the client's design looked like to them. This project consisted of a top-to-bottom rebuild of their structure, as well as a new look and feel that resulted in a fresh appearance for their brand and a new sound for their brand voice. We were in charge of redesigning website parts with new fresh code.
Before design and development began, we started with a strategic foundation of research that involved on-campus meetings, interviews, focus groups with students and secondary research on university website initiatives. This included several emails with the focus groups. We wanted to hear about the website directly from the people who used it on daily basis—and from the younger students who used it as a college selection tool. These findings guided every design, content and user experience decision that we made for this website.
“We dedicated a good portion of our discovery time to figuring out exactly what the website meant to each user segment. Our team wanted to know exactly what these web users needed the Quincy website to do for them. At the end of this phase, we were extremely well informed on what we need to create and how simple to keep the user experience.” – Katie Eigel
Most of our initial creative meetings involved not just our design team, but our development and content teams, as well. Every member had something valuable to contribute at every stage of this process.
“Crafting a new look and feel for Quincy gave us a chance to be the student again. We learned so much from interviewing the freshman class at Quincy about what mattered to them when they picked a school.” – Brent Feldman
As much as we can respect the tried-and-true collegiate Quincy school colors of gold and brown, we knew as a design company we needed to make some updates. The website and the brand looked dark, dated and the content failed to resonate with the younger millennials and Generation Z members who frequented the website more than anyone else.
The key stakeholders at Quincy told us that they wanted the website to reflect the actual college experience of Quincy, which is all about community, connections, and opportunities — all rooted in Franciscan values.
When we starting diving into the website, Quincy had 1500+ individual web pages. (Yes, we see a lot of websites, and, yes, that’s a lot!) The content plan was to take an inventory of all the existing pages and perform a content audit on the website. We created a detailed site map. Next, we needed to be informed about the users before we made any decisions about content. Our team gathered to create user personas and user flows to help us better understand what content needed to be condensed, deleted or expanded based on our perspective users.
“Heading up this project to create a new image for Quincy University couldn’t have been done without the help of our Director of Content Strategy getting a handle on 1500+ pages of content. We’ve worked on sites this size but universities need very specific silos and funnels to be effective.” – Brent Feldman
Our initial research and Discovery Phase gave us the information we needed to craft a distinctly different brand voice for Quincy that their team could carry out on the website and across all collateral. We had to treat the college as if it were a business.
We wanted to brighten and freshen up the look. We added the white space into the designs and introduced big, striking photographs. We worked alongside the photographer to create an authentic feel. We developed new graphical assets, messaging and colors. The new look added vibrant and inviting imagery complemented by student achievements and faculty commentary. The user experience of the website has been enhanced dramatically by streamlining content, condensing menus, elevating prominent pages and funneling specific users to desired actions.
Taking the brand in a new direction will help set the standard for effective creative, collateral and digital work moving forward. One of our biggest goals was to craft the look and feel of the website that would attract prospective students while still retaining current students. In addition to the website overhaul, we look forward to working with Quincy to measure website analytics. To track user behaviors and translate these results into impactful marketing tactics beyond the website.
“The new Quincy University site was a huge project, and one that was often challenging, but the end result was incredibly rewarding. We were able to take a site that was not user friendly and whose appearance seemed dated, and turn it into a vibrant, user-driven site that had all the tools needed for the expansive Quincy community. We did this with large, fresh imagery of the university and its’ occupants, a bright color palette and expressive fonts and widget groups (like testimonials, buttons and icons) to give users a visual break on heavier content pages.” – Sarah Kidwell
Our Development Team was very proud of the work they did on this site. It was important for us to build a website that could easily be customized by the many content stakeholders who would be ultimately managing the Quincy University website. The majority of the pages can be customized with a page builder. This means that Quincy can build pages for their site in almost any configuration imaginable. The client loved this flexibility.
“I was lucky enough that the Quincy project was my first time creating a Backend Page Builder for a client. The entire site design was made up of repeating modules, so we figured it would be easy for the user to just select which module they wanted, select the color scheme, then drag and drop it into place.” – Jeremy Schwartz
Our Development Team investigated a few pre-built Page Builders and the amount of time it would take to build one from scratch. But, they ultimately decided to go with Advanced Custom Fields Pro Page Builder. The team was already using Advanced Custom Fields Pro for a few other features and it worked exactly how we wanted it.
We built out each module type with every color scheme possible. Page Headers, Section Titles, Button Groups, Instagram Feed widgets and more were all left with the appropriate blanks for the user to fill out and drop into place.
After building out all the site chunks, we created a how-to page and example pages for the client. This allowed the client to see how each module worked and how it would look when it was completed. This worked very well, and the client was able to build out most of the site themselves. This saved us a lot of time and saved the client a lot of money. In the end, everyone came out very happy.
The old site:
The New Site:
The gist: We’re growing our team and are looking for a Digital Art Director with exceptional communication skills and a passion for great design. The details: Matchbox Design Group is seeking an art director to lead our creative process. This is a full-time position at our office in St. Louis, Missouri. We’re looking for someone that is responsive, energetic, creative and has great communication skills. The ideal candidate will have 3 – 5+ years of professional experience in the field and enjoy developing unique solutions and solving problems. This position will require strong graphic design, scheduling, presentation, people management and collaboration skills as you will be responsible for the conception, design, and execution of digital visuals to be used in branding, online advertising, digital marketing, and occasionally print media. Read More at the link provided.
DEVELOPMENT SUPPORT AND IMPLEMENTATION LEAD The gist: We’re growing our team and are looking for an experienced, responsive and outgoing web developer to also lead our customer support efforts. The details: At Matchbox, we strive to create lasting partnerships with clients. As our team and clients have grown over the last 10 years, so have the complexity of solutions we implement. We are now constantly adding new features and enhancements while also maintaining a large number of websites. Due to this growth, Matchbox Design Group is seeking a developer to lead our customer support efforts in a full-time position at our office in St. Louis, Missouri. We’re looking for someone that is responsive, fun, creative, has exceptional communication skills, and is able to work well in a team environment. The ideal candidate will have 3+ years of professional experience in the field and enjoy developing unique solutions and solving problems.
What is Google Partners Connect? Partners Connect is an event, sponsored by Google, that helps badged agencies like yours turn potential clients into new ones. You can invite businesses to watch Google thought leaders discuss the value of online advertising and how to succeed on the web. When is the Partners Connect event? Partners Connect is on Wednesday, May 17. Be sure to recommend that your guests arrive at least 30 minutes early to have a refreshment and settle in. The event is comprised of two parts: streamed content from Google, followed by a networking session for you to further develop relationships with your clients and prospective clients. Is Partners Connect free? Yes, this event is free for our badged Google Partner agencies. If you are not yet a member of Google Partners, you can sign up now. Who will be speaking at Partners Connect, and what topics will they cover? Speakers and panelists have been selected for their proven expertise in digital advertising and/or marketing. Ben Tyson In today's digital world, the process of finding Home Services providers continues to evolve, affecting buyers' path to purchase and ultimately conversion. Ben will explain how Home Services providers can get ahead by adjusting their advertising strategies to target consumers where they are spending their time. Fred Vallaeys Fred is a longtime expert in AdWords. He’ll speak about how Home Services providers can optimize their online presences to connect with customers in the right place at the right time. How long will the broadcast last? The broadcast should last approximately 40 minutes. You should allot plenty of time afterwards to answer your guests' questions.