Case study

Bringing the block editor to Artefact

Delivering a unified publishing experience for a world-class design agency: Artefact and the Block Editor

1. About Artefact

Artefact is an award-winning design agency headquartered in Seattle, Washington.

Founded by Rob Girling and Gavin Kelly in 2006, Artefact has grown into one of the leading independent design firms globally, serving clients such as Microsoft, Magic Leap, Hyundai, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Seattle Children’s Hospital.

Artefact specialises in purpose-driven work in the space of ethical, inclusive and responsible product, service, and systems design. This includes user experience design, VR-powered healthcare innovation, and wearable technology.

2. Breaking free from inherited technical debt

At the time they reached out to us, Artefact had hit a systemic barrier with content creation on their website. Their previous website had already benefited from WordPress’ innate flexibility as a CMS, yet their editorial experience lacked the functionality and flexibility required to create the visually compelling pages Artefact needed.

They experienced a lot of friction and inefficiencies in their content creation and publishing workflows, and were still required to paste HTML into a classic WordPress editor: defying the general purpose of a usable CMS, which is to separate content from code in the first place.

Artefact’s frontend team was ready to implement a captivating redesign on their website; all that was missing was an adequate toolset on the editorial end.

3. An engaging editorial experience

Human Made augmented Artefact’s engineering team for a time-sensitive relaunch of their company website, and introduced WordPress’ Block Editor as the foundation for a fresh publishing paradigm: enabling Artefact to build complex designs on a flexible codebase.

The block architecture model and the custom blocks Human Made built to reflect Artefact’s engaging and innovative page designs provided modern publishing tools and more efficient and streamlined workflows for everyone, from marketers to designers.

While the team was working on migrating content, smart redirects put in place by our engineers enabled seamless iterations to the project. In order to maintain the user experience and availability of their pages throughout the migration, the Human Made engineers implemented a solution that allowed for old website URLs to redirect to the new URL and automatically remove the redirect once the migration of that page was complete. This allowed Artefact’s developers to launch parts of the website as they were completed.

In order to meet their marketing requirements, our engineers built a lead capture form powered by Mailchimp’s API and integrated Google Tag Manager, establishing analytics as a first-class citizen in the editorial toolset and enabling Artefact’s marketing team to manage analytics independently, and without the need for additional developer resources.

4. Future-proofing web publishing

Whilst Artefact are known for their world-class design, their editorial team had been struggling due to the limited capabilities they had on their legacy content editor, and its inability to support modern publishing needs.

Introducing WordPress’ new block editor to the existing, proven CMS stack, enabled our engineers to implement bespoke editorial features in the form of highly customised content blocks, unifying Artefact’s stunning frontend designs with WordPress’ progressive editorial capabilities on the backend.

This empowered Artefact’s team to iterate on their redesign with increased speed, and publish engaging content to delight their visitors with confidence. Our team augmentation over the course of the project enabled Artefact’s developers to take over after we had left, implement changes on existing custom blocks, and create new ones from scratch when needed.

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