The story of our new website starts with a very personal story of mine. In 2006, I was running a small design studio in Brooklyn, NY. After constantly seeing that little (mt) mark on just about every design-related site I visited, I took the plunge and clicked on it. It led me to a company called Media Temple, which offered web hosting.
At the time, I was pretty happy with my web host. My studio was growing, my clients were getting bigger, and I felt like I needed to take the next step in getting serious about what I was doing. So I switched web hosts, joining many of my creative idols and the larger design community on (mt). Over the years, I’ve been grateful to be a Media Temple customer many, many times. For example, the time I accidently moved a client’s email over to a new DNS and lost all their messages. I called (mt), and a helpful, friendly, and relatable customer support agent helped me recover all of the emails and set everything up properly. It was more than customer support — it was human kindness, combating my human error.
Five years later, I walked into my first full day at Media Temple as their new Creative Director. I was blown away by what I found here. In the agency world, you go into countless offices, studios, corporations, and venues, and I had seen every kind of office environment one could imagine. Things were different at (mt). I had never seen the kind of commitment and pride in a workplace that I encountered on my first day here. From the founder, Demian Sellfors, to the newest member of our support staff, everyone was working towards the larger goal of helping our customers, striving to make their businesses and their projects successful.
For the past several years, Media Temple’s identity had been expressed through some perfectly polished server renderings which were literal interpretations of our hosting products. It was clear to me that the missing piece in our current website was the people who make this company special. It wasn’t just our employees, but our customers, too. It’s design studios like Uprising Creative, influential blogs like Designlovefest, world-bettering non-profits like The Surfrider Foundation, and innovative eateries like Frank that truly exemplify what we do. We’re here to provide a service and a platform to showcase our customers ideas, dreams, and triumphs.
Getting Started on Design
Two years ago, we started profiling our customers in a series we call Made on (mt). We traveled around the country, from Los Angeles to Boston, spent the day with more than twenty Media Temple customers, and let them tell their stories. As we started thinking about our redesign, we reached out to hundreds more. We talked to them, listened to them, and considered how to best implement many of the ideas we heard from them.
We also knew we wanted to build the site in a modern framework that would work across all devices. But as we started this project, we only had a small Creative & User Experience team. So we decided to hire and collaborate with San Francisco’s Character design studio — a shop I’ve admired for some time. It’s always valuable to have fresh, unbiased eyes involved in a redesign of this magnitude. All of us at (mt) are extremely involved with the company’s day-to-day operations, and an outside perspective can be enlightening. The people at Character are a talented and ego-less group of designers who helped us bring the design of this site to life. They helped us focus on simplicity without sacrificing creativity.
While the design process was taking shape, we also started refining and simplifying the company’s tone and voice. The way we were communicating via our social channels, specifically Twitter, set the bar for how we wanted to communicate on our website. Socially, we were confident, conversational, friendly, helpful, and concise. We felt our former site was too technical and lacked the conversational tone that our customers seemed to really appreciate.
Putting Our People Front and Center
In our extensive customer interviews, we kept hearing one thing we already knew: our customer support is head and shoulders above the rest of the hosting industry. We never felt our support team had the proper billing on our site, but we feel we’re going in the right direction now. Our new Help Center easily displays all the channels to contact us, as well as the various self-help tools we offer, from Automatic Mail Configuration to our extensive KnowledgeBase. We’ve started a series of Solution Center videos which will eventually grow to a vast video library.
Many of you have also asked to see our Support Center — well, there it is, right at the top of our Help Center page. It’s the epicenter of our Los Angeles headquarters. Anytime you chat or call Media Temple Customer Support, you’ll be speaking to someone in that room here in LA, and nowhere else. And our new About page provides an even deeper look into our company, along with Media Temple’s first “About” video, starring the real people who come in here every day to make great products and provide stellar service.
A Blog We’d Want to Read
Built for Tomorrow
While the last Media Temple website was great for its time, our industry moves at lighting speed. Early in the redesign process, we made the decision to abandon our legacy codebase, allowing us to start from a clean slate and build the website with a modern approach. Our teams spent several months building a design system that provides scalability, maintainability, and flexibility. The result is a beautiful website that adapts to any screen, a codebase that is built on modern standards, and a style guide to keep us going in the right direction.
Collaboration Is the Name of the Game
While this project was driven by Media Temple’s in-house Creative/UX team, it was an all-hands-on-deck company effort with major contributions from our senior leadership on down through every department: Product, Engineering, Marketing, Customer Support, Legal, and even our stellar Employee Experience team. Along the way, Creative/UX has grown to 10 people, including UX Engineers, Designers, Content Strategists, and a Video Producer. They’ve worked tirelessly and seamlessly over the last several months overhauling our entire system, designing pages, writing copy, making videos, and testing our site.
And in addition to our work with Character’s talented crew, we also worked closely with the guys at DKNG Studios to create original illustrations for all of our product pages. Their illustrations added that little bit of geeky flare our new site was missing. We were also fortunate enough to work with Laure Joliet, whose beautiful photographs brought our people, our offices, and our love for what we all do to life.
As we continue to make improvements to our website, our team will put greater focus on modernizing our Account Center. We’ll be releasing a beta version of the new Account Center which you can see in the screenshots above. This will be made available to all Media Temple Customers and we’re hoping to open up the beta in the next couple of months. Our first priority in redoing our Account Center is modernizing the design and layout, as well as making it responsive so you can add new contacts, buy domains, upgrade services, and more right from your phone or tablet. This will keep your workflow the same, no matter what device you’re using to manage your services. However, as the beta evolves, we’ll begin to make workflow modifications which will help you get your work in the Account Center done more quickly than ever.
Finally, I want to offer a big thank you to our customers, who have made Media Temple what it is. Everything we do is for all of you, and you inspire us daily.
Jon Setzen and the (mt) UX and Creative Teams.