Services we provided
- Visual identity
- UX / UI
3Dconnexion specializes in producing 3D input devices for use in computer-aided design (CAD), digital content creation, and virtual reality applications. These devices are used in industries such as architecture, engineering, healthcare, and entertainment. They are compatible with applications such as Autodesk Fusion 360, SolidWorks, Solid Edge, SketchUp, Unity, Unreal Engine to name a few.
3DConnexion needed an experienced contractor to rebuild an important part of their website where customers could find and download the latest drivers and software for their 3Dconnexion devices.
Why was it necessary to rebuild this part of the website? Originally, it was simply a list of applications compatible with 3Dconnexion hardware. By adding sub-pages for each application, 3Dconnexion would be able to provide their customers with instructions, case studies and detailed descriptions of the software. Expanding the site’s capabilities also required a complex search engine. The client had a concept for the overall solution in mind but was unsure how to implement it. They wanted to avoid complicating an already complex and large project and ensure that their content editors could easily manage the site using their CMS.
3Dconnexion required a WordPress -based system that would allow them to build a large database of applications compatible with their hardware. This database had to be managed using a huge, 56-page multi-site. On the front end, there was a need for a complex search engine that would allow users to search for compatible applications and learn about the integration between them and their hardware. However, this system had to be based on existing solutions within the 3Dconnexion site, with a specialized module, which was responsible for migrating content between sites.
Defining project scope
3Dconnexion came to us with a very detailed vision of the end result. Our first challenge was to understand their requirements and simplify them in some places to make the project scope of the project achievable. We focused on identifying the key requirements and proposed an MVP that could be developed with additional functionality at a later stage. This solution was based on the specialized module, which is essential for overseeing the entire organization’s website. Working on an existing system built by a different provider is always an added challenge, so we had to take time to learn how it works first. However, we have a lot of experience in such situations and know how to deal with them.
Building a software page
Originally, the software page was just a list of compatible applications. There was no search engine, no filters and no dedicated pages describing each application in detail. There was also no way to search for specific applications. 3Dconnexion’s main goal was to make things easier for their customers by providing all application-related information in a single place.
3Dconnexion’s vision of the new site was quite demanding. The main challenge was to create an application search engine that would include:
The client expected search results to be “instant”, so asynchronous requests could not be used.
The final solution involved:
A new, main software page with a search engine based on individual application pages. To make searching and navigating easier for the customers, the search engine scans these pages and displays a lot of information in the results. https://3dconnexion.com/uk/software/
Subpages for specific applications in the form of two linked tabs that are closely linked to the search engine, allowing users to navigate from the search engine to different tabs on a specific application page. https://3dconnexion.com/uk/applications/autodesk-fusion-360/.
Developing an easy-to-use CMS panel for managing applications globally and locally for over 50 pages within the multisite.
Ease of use was one of the client’s key requirements, and they were reluctant to add new content management systems. This would not only make the job of content managers more difficult but would also increase costs. Ultimately, our approach significantly relied on a specialized WordPress extension enabling seamless content distribution across a multisite network. Additionally, we centralized application management through a global hub within the ‘Network Admin’.
The main challenge for us was to develop a solution that would allow our client to create a global master page that would be accessible to each of the 55 pages in the multisite. We used the specialized module to create a copy of the master and set up a link between them. Thanks to this link, any content changes made to the master are also applied to the ‘copies’. If a local version of an application page is needed, the link to the master page can be broken and the page can be edited separately.
Our partnership started in June 2021 and continues thorugout 2023. The biggest challenge for building a long-term relationship with this client was that they had a good knowledge of WordPress and coding. Because of this technical expertise, they had a very detailed vision of the solutions they wanted to implement. Developing a good working relationship and taking a critical approach to 3Dconnexion’s requirements was key to the success of this project. We had to rethink our approach to consulting and learned a lot in the process.
Let us know when you’re free, and we’ll schedule a short intro meeting online. You tell us about your project, we will ask questions, you will ask questions and max. 30 minutes later, we will know if we’re the right fit.