"For such an extensive corporate site, the overall experience is elegantly simple." —juror Bart Marable
"It's refreshing to see a big corporate site handled with a level of restraint and design consistency that is so often missing." —juror Jon McVey
Overview: This global, corporate Web presence for GE reaches a huge audience (investors, journalists, customers and employees) and features an impressive amount of product and service information and historical content. It's a rare corporate site that manages to showcase itself and emphasize its global reach while making content easily accessible to such a diverse audience. For the user simply looking to research a microwave, to the investor looking for shareholder information, it's a new and improved Web presence for a worldwide company that conveys its global reach its desire to help make the world a better place and the brand promise: "What we imagine, we can make happen."
• This is the foundation for the 65+ corporate country sites that utilize similar architecture, design and technology.
• After a nine-month development, the site launched on June 1, 2007.
• The site was whittled from an unwieldy 3,000 pages to little more than 500.
Comments by Monique TeSelle:
How did this project compare with others you've worked on in the past? "One of the big differences for us and our approach to this project is that in addition to being GE's 'digital brand stewards,' we're also an integral part of their internal team. We didn't just redesign GE.com, we're actively refining the experience and strengthening their brand messages on a regular basis.
"With a company as large and diverse as GE, the site has to be many things to many people—it's both a business-to-business site and a portal for consumers and has to provide inspiration to employees and recruits. And we have to get every different user to their destination. But with this redesign, we also had a really great opportunity to showcase the backbone of the brand—the businesses. By telling the stories of all of the businesses—the technology, the processes, the people—we would be telling the brand story, that GE is working to solve some of the world's biggest problems.
"So, we redesigned the site to be more in line with what users were looking for, rather than how the company was structured and removed outdated content in favor of rich content. With interactivity, video, audio and exploratory storytelling, we gave a global public face to the company, a newsworthy angle to its innovation and brought the voice of its employees to the audience.
"In order for us to tell these great stories, it's really important for the team to understand the company. We have a team e-mail list and trade URLs constantly—a mention on Wired, that CNBC interview with Jeff Immelt, something an analyst said about the stock. We all actively monitor what is going on with their business. One of our techs mentioned recently that when he went for an MRI, the first thing he did was look for the GE logo on the machine. It's exactly this sort of understanding and dedication that builds trust with our clients and helps us all do great work."