Hitting the mark

Eve Spears
Feb 12, 2020 · 5 min read

Redesigning our Benchmark webpage

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One of the many things I love about the work we do on the Brand Design team at Zendesk is the creative influence we have over the whole process of designing a webpage. Not only do we get to art direct the photoshoot for the imagery on a new webpage, but we also get to design the webpage itself and all its interactions. It gives us a crazy amount of creative freedom and means that every web project inevitably feels like your very own baby.

Here’s a look behind the scenes of one of our newest web babies — the redesign of our Benchmark page.

Hold your horses, what is Benchmark?

Our quarterly Zendesk Benchmark reports have more data than you can shake a USB-stick at (little bit of outdated technology humor for you there.) More specifically, it’s all the data we have on over 45,000 companies that use Zendesk. This research is valuable to customers so they can see how their own businesses stack up against their peers. Our Benchmark product marketing team needed a place to house all of these trend reports. A one-stop-shop for all your Benchmark needs.

The Benchmark product marketing team came to us with these particular goals:

  1. Create a more compelling and intuitive page for customers and prospective customers to discover Benchmark research.

Easy!

This project gave us an opportunity to give the Benchmark team some much needed brand loving. We knew we would continue releasing future trend reports, there would be presentations at our global events, social ads, blog posts, the whole nine yards. We wanted to create a library of assets the team can easily pull from to keep this content looking fresh and consistent.

The art direction

And thus it was decided, we were going to do a brand new photoshoot. Queue frantic whiteboarding session and intense art directing montage.

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Whiteboarding session based on Raven’s final headlines

Shout out to copywriting goddess, Raven. I started by breaking down the page design based on Raven’s headlines. The imagery needed to speak to each headline to convey a meaningful story.

I wanted each photo to be a charming still life — as if the objects were caught in the middle of doing something. Kind of like in Toy Story when Andy comes home and the toys are scattered all over the floor and you can tell they were doing something crazy when the humans were gone but they have to stay still because they’re toys.

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So with the general vibe of the page decided, we sourced our props and the photoshoot was scheduled. Shout out to our producer Tamara for keeping us on track.

The props for the photoshoot would be physical representations of measuring and collecting data points — we’re talking beakers, scales, compasses. Units of measurement, graph paper, angles, parabolas, curves, and other things I haven’t thought about since high school Maths.

The photoshoot

The nature of the images being still life, left a lot of room for experimentation and happy accidents during the shoot. So many elements of the photos were added completely off the cuff in the moment — like a floating pom pom, a sponge we found on Melanie’s desk (we named him Mr. Sponge), and lots and lots of hot glue. Shout out to our Art Director, Nick for expert manipulation of hot glue and sage advice throughout the whole process.

And huge shout out to our photographer, Marta for some crazy photography wizardry.

Here are some pics:

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Stand out from the crowd ✨
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Raise the bar 📊
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Get ahead of the curve ⚖
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The door is open

Designing the webpage

Once the shoot was wrapped up, it was time to put the whole page together. There were a lot of moving pieces here. We replaced an old broken Explore dashboard with a super easy to use interactive tool to see where you stand with others in your industry. There was a module on the page dedicated to resources, so we made new covers for them with lovely graph paper.

And after all that ado, here’s the final thing. (You can also check out the real thing here.)

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The REAL star of the show, though…

…is the graph paper in the above image. Clearly, our Creative team has a fetish.

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Overall, this is one of many pages that we’ve created with a process like this. And dare I say…it hit the benchmark.

Congratulations. You made it to the end. Check out design.zendesk.com for more thought leadership, design process, and other creative musings.

Zendesk Creative

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