Crafting a modern Donaldson web experience

Founded in 1915, the Donaldson Company has remained at the forefront of air filter innovation. The multinational company holds over 1800 active patents with employees in 44 countries around the world. As one of the largest providers of filters and parts. Donaldson are responsible for filter elements that appear in everyday products from cell phones to jet engines.

Visual Design

A colossal undertaking

To understand Donaldson’s primary web presence, consider the company’s massive reach. With hundreds of product-lines spanning over 20 industries and business units—each speaking directly to their own customer-base in five different languages—there lies a critical need for an accessible and extendible library of assets, driven by a consistent, yet dynamic UI/UX approach. Allowing disparate business units to function independent of one another, while still working under a single global site architecture is a fascinating challenge.

Redesigning Donaldson

Reimagining required an extensive and thorough audit of the existing site. Considering internal feedback; asset availability; analytics; competitive assessments; and demographics, Content Thread worked closely with Donaldson to assemble a user roadmap dictating the strategy behind UX and visual design.

Once applied, the end result emphasizes hierarchy, simplicity, and transparency. Compelling interactive pieces and immersive looping videos capture the imagination, eliciting the expertise and innovation Donaldson’s products are known for.

The clean, bright design houses a rich variety of product photography and video, creating a subtle but effective brand presence. Stacked content and an easy-to-use jump link UI brings content to the forefront of the experience, encouraging user exploration.

Building Donaldson

Donaldson’s multi-language, multi-region, web presence is a special challenge for content management. Authors need a system that provides control of content at the smallest level of detail, but does as much as possible “on its own” so that static content is not repeatedly created in more than one place. Through a mix of AEM’s inheritance system, custom overrides, component development, and integration with a translation service, Content Thread provided a solution that meets Donaldson’s unique needs.

With content having pride of place in the new website, Content Thread also created customized solutions to streamline the content-authoring experience. These include the ability to crop images according to predefined crop sizes at the component level, and a special tool for positioning interactive tooltips over existing images. Many of the components from Content Thread that group content are created to either populate automatically(via content path)or be individually authored, meeting a full range of client needs depending on the scenario.

Implementation at a glance

  • Multilingual
  • Translation service integrated into Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) and subsequent workflows
  • Anonymous visitors are geolocated and redirected to appropriate country/language site
  • Multi-Site Manager handles the reuse of content while also allowing the flexibility of overriding or canceling content inheritance per country/language
  • Customizable image cropping at component/template level

Analytics at a glance

  • Analytics implemented for ATG commerce and AEM multilingual sites
  • Centralized data model across all sites to provide insight into the customers full journey
  • CRM integrated
  • Gated-form support for driving lead generation

An evolving collaboration

As an Adobe Experience Manager Partner, Content Thread’s original engagement with Donaldson began in 2014 with the task of migrating over 200 websites into their newly acquired AEM platform. At the time, CT’s role in the migration included Tech Planning, Infrastructure, CQ Development, Integrations, Defects, and HTML Development.

Since the initial migration, Content Thread has supported Donaldson with regular maintenance, and recently, design strategy and execution. This ongoing relationship has afforded CT a deep understanding of Donaldson’s unique business needs, paving the way for a complete redesign and rebuild of in 2019.