In 1997, a tiny company in Oxford, England did something that turned the very technical world of Web design on its ear. Unlike every Web design application that came before it (and most that have come since) Freeway™ used the DTP (desktop publishing) metaphor to design Web sites. This meant that there was no coding involved—you simply drew what you wanted the site to look like, and published. Designers who tried it were usually flabbergasted to find that the Web could be that easy. And we were no exception.
When they came to us in 2002, Softpress were feeling the pressure from giant, well-funded competitors like Adobe and Macromedia. With only a guerilla-sized budget to work with, we used Freeway (and our creativity and technology) to spread the word that Freeway was the natural choice for print designers who wanted to bring their skills to the Web.
We wrote and designed a new Web site to showcase Freeway as a serious Web tool. A modular home page loads one of a number of features at random, so repeat visitors always see something new. A customer gallery allows users to show off the work they’ve built with Freeway, and a custom KnowledgeBase makes it easy for Softpress Support to keep documentation up to date.
The Softpress Store is an important part of the program. After evaluating a number of off-the-shelf commerce systems, we elected to design this system from scratch. The finished store allows customers to shop in one of three currencies, and fulfills sales 24 hours a day, sending serial numbers and download keys by e-mail.
Brand advertising in Macworld, MacUser, and Adobe magazine helped to drive customers to the Web site, and also built recognition and credibility.
Icons for Freeway Actions (left) and Freeway (right) were one of the many details we attended to. Taking their cues from the lush 3D look of Mac OS X, these icons are seen on desktops all around the world.
The packaging for Freeway 4 was designed to attract from across a crowded store, and finish the sale up-close.
The Softpress site is built with Freeway, naturally.
The Admin Control Panel allows Softpress to manage the Store, the News and Gallery features, and other elements of the site.