Keppel Sea Scan website

02 Feb 2011 | By Lee Xian Jie

Keppel Sea Scan started out in 1976 in the Marine & Offshore and Building Construction industries. Today, Keppel Sea Scan has established a strong reputation in the marine accommodation, shipyard consumables, ship and construction equipment, equipment leasing, building products, and lifeboat servicing industries.

Keppel Sea Scan has interests in diverse industries, including 24/7 lifeboat servicing in the region.

Keppel Sea Scan has interests in diverse industries, including 24/7 lifeboat servicing in the region.

But their outmoded website with 7 pages of HTML pages and low-resolution images neither reflected 35 years of experience nor the breadth and depth of their vast product lines. Hachisu was hired to refresh Keppel Sea Scan’s online image with good copywriting and web design. The client also requested for a catalogue system to be designed to feature the company’s key products.

Identifying problems

Before we started thinking about the design or copywriting, we had to learn what potential users wanted in a company website like Keppel Sea Scan’s since we didn’t know how engineering-based businesses bought from each other.

So we interviewed Project Managers, Senior Engineers, Surveyors, and Purchasers from Singapore, Malaysia, China and the United Arab Emirates, all from engineering-based companies in Keppel Sea Scan’s target markets.

After listening to their woes about lack of detailed product information, poorly organised information, and difficulty in getting a response from sales departments, we realised what they really wanted was to feel that they could trust the company.

Looking at Keppel Sea Scan’s local competitors’ websites, we could feel our interviewees’ frustration. Most were cluttered, and were full of marketese and bad English. No amount of flashy but time-wasting animations would have helped built trust, but a comprehensive product catalogue, and obvious contact information on every page would.

We presented these findings to Keppel Sea Scan’s management.

Internal meetings

Next, we met all of Keppel Sea Scan’s salespeople to find out how their current customers had contacted them, or found out about their products. We needed to know how the website could increase sales. At the same time, we were shocked by the diverse product lines the company carried – from latrines to lighting to lifeboats – everything had to be categorised and logically listed in the website catalogue.

Solution

We think good copy greatly influences buyers’ decisions – why would you buy from someone who flummoxes you with unintelligible words like synergy or one-stop services? Keppel Sea Scan had to come across to its potential customers as professionals who stay far away from corporate-speak.

To do this, we wrote based on what Keppel Sea Scan’s salespeople said to us. For example, on the Equipment Leasing page, the copy reads:

At the same time, the website design had to be utilitarian and reductionist, offer rapid download speeds, good readability, and clear navigation.

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  1. The side navigation bar features collapsable listings of Keppel Sea Scan’s products.
  2. Product specifications for lifeboat davits.

White space, sorely lacking in most websites belonging to engineering companies, was plenty in this design. We reduced visual clutter by omitting needless design elements and kept to what was necessary, and the 12-column grid helped to keep things organised.

Keppel Sea Scan’s new website will include certification and product listings right on the homepage.

Completion

The website will be launched within the year when Keppel Sea Scan’s web team completes the upload of key product information, including detailed specifications and photographs they had to source from their suppliers.