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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Case story: Rako Controls

A website to reflect modern technology and the beauty of light

The initial darkness

Rako Controls benefits from an excellent reputation, however they had previously developed a website in-house and over time, the site was no longer representing their position as market leaders.

In addition, they have a requirement to talk to both informed audiences (technicians, designers and fitters) and uninformed users (homeowners and professionals without specific knowledge in this field).

Rako Controls is known for being a very approachable and easily accessible company that’s always there to help with technical support, so the site needed to follow this ethos.

The required flashlight

Technical products are often difficult to display attractively. The technology behind them may be very advanced, however, ultimately much of the product is “behind the scenes” and hidden to the end-user. It’s a specialist field so users also have varied degrees of knowledge from none to fully conversant.

Despite this, the impact of the technology is very visual. We, Visarc, opted to create a design which utilises strong images with reference to lighting to sell the benefits of the product. We also created a clear product structure that allows users to find as much information as they need – from initial product summary to detailed technical specifications.

The light

There were many instances where Umbraco was particularly useful in adding features to the Rako site. For example, we added a useful video picker for the video gallery to enable a user to upload different versions of a video to play on different devices.

We used the Merchello plugin to manage the product catalog. And utilized Umbraco’s grid editor to build a fully dynamic editing experience.

In addition, we built a custom “Plate Designer” using React with Redux which allows a customer to design their own control layout for their home.

And of course, there’s the overall flexibility of the Umbraco platform combined with its ease of use when it comes to content editing.

The luminous results

The project has grown in terms of content and now we’re expanding with new sections and adding functionality. One objective is to provide more information on how Rako can transform your environment by using case studies and potentially an image library to which customers can submit their own images for consideration.

A particularly useful tool developed for the site was the online Plate Designer which lets users specify the finishes for wall mounted control plates. This is heavily used and more features are being added to make it even more useful.

Initial results are positive with traffic already up 20 percent and customer inquiries coming in at a very strong rate!

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