fede.is Federico Bombelli

Web Design Thinking: coding WordPress themes to provide valuable experiences

Applying the theory and practice of Design Thinking on web design can help brands an companies improving their Users and Customer Experiences

Web Design Thinking: coding WordPress themes to provide valuable experiences

As a designer who believes that each problem deserves its own solution, I’m quite skeptical when I browse web agency’s portfolios and I see only WordPress websites with standard themes.

I know that some of them have multiple settings for customization, but still that is a compromise: to me it looks like that the real needs are size down to the shape of the solution provided by the theme.

Here’s the difference between a pure web designer and a UX designer with an experience in web coding: the first one adapts, the second one shapes.

In the following section I’ll show three examples of UX applied to web design, so that the requirements of each stakeholders was satisfied. At the core of each one there a deep analysis of the corporate values on which the whole website was based.

Some things these three projects have in common are:

Fondazione Nicola Trussardi

This has been a really interesting project. The client, a private contemporary art foundation focused on temporary installations, needed a new website as the previous one was made in a custom CMS, which was slow and hard to update. Another request was to find a way to keep the homepage dynamic even if the website is updated only twice per year.

They asked for WordPress, to not being locked to a single provider, but also required many features, even a premium theme wasn’t capable of.

Some interesting aspect of this site are:


Community Group

This website has been a real challenge as it integrates the data from two different WordPress websites into one, with four custom content types, a huge amount of news and clients.

In this case the theme aesthetic was also designed in-house, starting from the idea to use the same images for both slider and background: this not only creates a remarkable visual effect, but it also increase the speed performance of the website, as it is the same image to be loaded once and used twice.

The clients page has been tough: it implements a custom developed AJAX integration, to dynamically fill the page with clients logo, based on the selection of two dropdown menus, which are also dynamically updated.


Reputation Manager

The main challenge of this website was to shape a meaningful information architecture plan to host a complex and consistent amount of contents, without specific target groups or kind of content.

In order to provide useful ways to get into the right page both a mega-menu and a landing area have been implemented. The mega-menu allow to browse the contents of each area by holding the mouse over the desired menu label; in the homepage the visitor is welcomed and shown with a list of services ordered by the most common needs which are required.

Both the homepage and the News page are structured with horizontal sections in order to host many content of different kind still preserving the rational and well structured appearence, in coherence with the corporate values: integration, method, avanguardie.