A digital face for Sozala Energy23 May 2017 ‐ 6 min read
Sozala Energy is a South African based oil company with an envied no.1 BBBEE status. They not only distribute fuel and subsidiary products, but also have enormous capacity to store large amounts of fuel, and their transport network enables them to deliver to anywhere in South Africa. Best of all, they’re able to offer really competitive pricing due to their unique positioning in the industry.
Sozala Energy approached 4i to design and develop a super simple website with just a few content-based pages. We also had the opportunity to create the copy, which made the project even more enjoyable as we got to learn a lot about the industry.
Unpacking The Brief
The biggest challenge with this project was the deadline. Close to half of the design decisions were governed by the tight turnaround, so we used a minimalist approach while ensuring the professional look and feel came through strongly. Understanding their competition was key, and we got straight to work researching their competitors in order to create something that would stand out, while keeping to our original position of less is more.
Utilising a minimalist approach with a professional look and feel while understanding their competition, was key.
The brief did change along the way - which is not uncommon. In the end there was more emphasis on the narrative, bringing that across clearly and making the story come to life in a way that would showcase Sozala Energy’s position as leaders in the industry.
What We Did
From a technical point of view, it was a very straightforward project. The challenge was to build the site in a way that could be easily maintained by the client. So we put a lot of emphasis on making it easy to use. For the responsive design we used the Bootstrap framework, and for the styling and animations CSS, we used Drupal, which is a Content Management Framework (CMF) that makes it possible to build a CMS quickly.
Creative & Cohesive Collaboration
Throughout the project we constantly asked the question, “Can these designs be implemented quickly and accurately by the development team?” A key success metric to delivering a great product on time lies in the collaboration between development and design, and our teams worked really well together on compromises and workarounds, and providing suggestions while making collaborative decisions in order to meet the deadline.
The project ended up being a bit bigger and a bit more complex than we originally anticipated – again, not uncommon in software design and development, but we worked together to figure out a way to collaborate with our internal teams as well as with client to ensure on-time delivery.
A big win with this project was that we were on par with client’s vision from the start.
When working to a tight deadline, the number one thing you hope for is that the client likes where you’re going with the design right from the very first design review, because a lot of precious time can get lost in the “back and forth”. A big win with this project was that we were on par with client’s vision from the start. The client was really happy with what we were able to deliver, and we’re already gearing up to start phase two really soon.
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