You probably don’t even realize it, but Rosco has transported you to gorgeous tropical sunsets, foggy forests, luxurious penthouses and exotic cityscapes. The company’s cutting-edge lighting and staging solutions have helped audiences inhabit the stories created in countless theatrical performances, movies, TV shows, live broadcasts, and concerts. But when a company is a four-time winner of the Academy Award and an industry leader the world over, its website really ought to be dazzling, right? Well, yes, but that’s easier said than done.
That’s why our New York-based partner, Solid Branding, engaged WebEnertia to redesign Rosco’s website as part of a larger rebranding of the 107-year-old Stamford, Connecticut-based company.
“Rosco’s legacy site,” said WebE Project Manager Lynn May, “was dated. Finding things was hard. The navigation was not intuitive. And there was a lot to organize.” It was built piecemeal by various people over many years.
“We wanted to make it much more contemporary, more organized, and bring it into the present time — with technology, design, and interactions thoughtfully used for a modern and mobile-friendly user experience,” Lynn says.
“One of the other reasons for the redesign,” says Lead Developer Ian McGarvey, “was they had a corporate site for filters and lighting, and a separate site for backdrops, and a separate site for videos, and a separate site for locations, a separate site for everything. They wanted to go from fragmented to streamlined.”
Rosco’s website is the company’s “single biggest customer touch point,” says Rosco Marketing Director Lauren Proud. After a while, the firm realized the old site just wasn’t able to properly showcase its featured product lines — especially the LED lighting fixtures that are now at the core of its brand. “We got to a point where we had to knock it down and build a new house,” Proud said, adding that customer feedback indicates that users love the new design.
Under the Hood
Rosco produces lighting, color filters, and related products for TV and movie sets, and architectural uses, as well as backdrops and stage effects for live concerts and plays — all-in-all thousands of products. Rosco has offices on almost every continent and hundreds of distributors across the globe.
We started by figuring out a way to organize everything into logical categories and product families. Collaboration with Rosco’s team was critical.
“We had to come up with a taxonomy system, information architecture, content strategy, a friendly navigation system and smart search tools, all those so that users could find what they need within thousands and thousands of products,” he said.
“We selected Drupal as the content management platform, and created a system to import about 10,000 images and thousands of products from various Rosco databases,” says Ian, our programming lead assigned with the task.
Custom Gobo Tool
Another big part of the redesign was significantly improving an existing interactive tool with which stage or set designers design customized gobos (screens placed over lights to project a silhouette-like image or pattern) and order them on the spot for shipment to the nearest dealer for pickup or delivery. We created a sizable library of customizable objects and fonts that can be dragged and dropped into a field and manipulated to see how they’ll look in real life.
Most of Rosco’s products are distributed through a global network of dealers. But not every product it makes is available in every country, so we incorporated geolocation tools to determine which country the user is likely sitting in. With that information, the site then displays only the locally available products, and the content is presented in the predominant local language.
The final touch was making sure the experience was just as delightful on a mobile device as it was for desktop users.
Now, that Rosco magic you’ve seen on the big screen is matched on its website. “We can now be recognized as innovative rather than old and stodgy,” Proud said.