Siemen van Straaten
Siemen van Straaten
15 juni 2020

New Zumtobel site; Remote collaboration all over the globe

Zumtobel Group is one of the world’s largest suppliers of innovative lighting solutions and has its head office located in Dornbirn, Austria. Many years ago, we came into contact with one of the company’s employees and it’s safe to say that we hit it off quickly. After having done a relatively smaller project for Thorn-eco (one of the brands of Zumtobel Group), we were asked to take on a project on a larger scale.

The challenging design of Anton & Irene

Our eyes enlarged as we first looked over the conceptual design that was created by Anton & Irene. The complexity, the number of pages and the creativity that went into the design was something different. We knew that the only way for this project to become a success was if we kept communication lines short, focus on reusability of code and recognizability of the many elements in the CMS we needed to create. Anton & Irene were responsible for the concept, the design and later the frontend of the entire website.

Zumtobel Company Page

Seamless communication is vital

Together with our contacts from Zumtobel Group we worked in Jira (a project management tool) in which all tickets, bugs and change requests were carefully documented. We set up multiple channels in Slack, making quick communications and the almost daily phone call possible without too much effort. Weekly meetings, attended by Zumtobel’s project managers and Anton (Anton & Irene), were held to keep each other updated. Working with people around the globe may become challenging but, luckily, we had a very knowledgable group of professionals on our clients’ side which made the process of working remotely a lot more feasible.

Looking at the greater picture leads to the neatest code

From the start, it must be clear for every team member why they are doing the project. In this case, we discussed all of the concerns we might have looking at the greater picture. A large concern was that the website might become slow due to the complexity and the number of images within the design. Rather quickly, we knew that reusability would not only make the website more manageable once it was live, but would also decrease the chance of it being slow.
Also, a website of this proportion must be easy to manage through the CMS. We knew that we needed to constantly be aware of the fact that others, who might have never used a CMS, could find their way easily and that it was structured logically. So along with every step of the way, we had team members discussing the neatest way to write code for the many elements.
And finally, it comes down to keep morale up so people feel comfortable working on the project as long as we did now. This meant that we did the occasional lunch outside of the office and taking out the client whenever they are visiting.

Zumtobel Company Page

Documentation leads to efficiency

Plainly said: the team did an incredible job! Working on a project for a long time creates many challenges. For anyone, it’s difficult to stay focused on one task for so long, but also having to deal with the changes within the team doesn’t make things ideal. In the end, ten people have been working on this project in total while for most of the time five people were working on it simultaneously. We had thoroughly documented everything important so that new members could easily adapt without too much time going by.

Web development in numbers

  • Merge requests created: 700
  • Resolved tickets: 540
  • Resolved bugs: 250
  • Times visited by Zumtobel Group: 2
  • Number of timezones: 3

If this blog spiked your interest, go look at the result.

To our client, the Zumtobel Group: thank you for the great collaboration!

We love code