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Simplifying Content Management for Nissan Europe

Nissan Europe needed an easy way for their smaller European countries’ websites to share and publish content while still keeping in line with the larger presence sites (England, France, etc). After having previously built websites for the markets in question as well as hosting their websites, they now asked us to build an easy-to-use content management system to simplify their workflow. Alongside the new content management system we also restyled their older websites, including a responsive layout.

Defining Nissan Europe’s Needs

Nissan Europe was looking for a way to standardize public-facing front-end websites while still providing the flexibility to respond to the individual needs of each country. Because most of the staff behind these websites are marketing and sales-centric, the content management tools in the back-end would have to be more intuitive, familiar and not overly complicated so users could adapt to their tasks quickly.

After discussing Nissan Europe’s needs and desires, we outlined the main features for the system, which included:

  • An easy-to-use admin panel to simplify updates also for non-technical users
  • The ability to manage and share assets across different countries
  • Branded templates that follow Nissan Europe’s style guidelines, but allowed easy customization for each country’s individual needs (for example adjusting the size of pictures, special offers, etc.)
  • Responsive design to make the websites easily accessible on various devices
  • Light and fast-loading websites, guaranteeing performance even in countries with slower internet connections

All this would be powered by a custom content management system – built from scratch. A clean-sheet build allows us to include only the features requested by Nissan and also to keep the content management process as simple as possible.

We would also be able to keep both the framework and the code lean and efficient to ensure fast site loading times, even with the additional requirement of responsive design.

Customized Templates For Their Websites

To ensure brand consistency, we created templates that adhered strictly to Nissan’s global guidelines. If a country needs to update their website with new products or special offers, they now have to use the pre-built templates. This gives them a pre-defined, guideline-approved set of styles like colors, fonts and images for usage in their content. For example, the homepage is structured to display a maximum of four images (one large and three small) in a specific size with a title and teaser text.

Using the templates ensures that only the color palette and the fonts that conform to Nissan’s global brand guidelines can be used when updating their websites.

 Nissan's homepages feature one large and three small images.

Nissan’s homepages feature one large and three small images.

Content Management System And Sharing Tool

The back-end of their new application allows each country to manage and share images and other assets across the different countries. This removes redundancy and prevents users from uploading multiple copies of the same image into the same database. Instead, the individual countries now have a pool of images to pick from when presenting a new model or accessory.

Easily edit and select photos for a vehicle photo gallery.

Easily edit and select photos for a vehicle photo gallery.

We also created a user-friendly, intuitive WYSIWYG admin panel that allows users to create and edit content while being on the actual page itself, without having to exit out of the front-end of the site. Changes can be seen “in action” so editors know how content and layout will look like before publishing.

nissan WYSIWYG editor

Nissan’s new easy-to-edit WYSIWYG editor.

Customized CMS Solution

Building the CMS from scratch allowed us to focus solely on Nissan Europe’s desires for their new web application instead of modifying the base code of a pre-packaged CMS solution to cut out extraneous features, potentially breaking its upgrade path.

We created each site in the country’s language of choice with the option to easily add new languages if requested. Each country can now create and customize their own pages or links and has access to a pool of images and brochures shared among similar markets through the same back-end that they can share and re-use.

Nissan Europe Feedback

We like to keep in touch with our clients even after the completion of a project and collect feedback in order to improve our services. Thanks Nissan Europe for this great feedback.

Nissan Europe used to work with Gossamer Threads in the past and was very happy in the way it was managed. We therefore contacted them again to rebuild and improve our websites to follow the new trends and needs. Again I must say we were very happy about the quick feedback and the way it was managed by professionals always willing to support and offer the best solution.