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Perkins Eastman

Architectural firm design and Content Management System (CMS) implementation

#RealEstate, #Architecture, #CMS
personas, sitemaps, wire-framing, prototyping

What is Perkins Eastman?

Perkins Eastman is an international architecture and design firm that provides a wide range of planning, design, and consulting services for clients in various industries. The firm specializes in architecture, interior design, urban design and planning, landscape architecture, and sustainability consulting, and has completed projects in more than 40 countries around the world.

Perkins Eastman's portfolio includes projects in a variety of sectors, including healthcare, education, senior living, hospitality, residential, and commercial. The firm is known for its innovative, sustainable, and user-centered design solutions, which prioritize the needs and goals of clients and end-users.

Founded in 1981, Perkins Eastman is headquartered in New York City and has additional offices in North America, South America, Asia, and the Middle East. The firm has a team of more than 1,000 professionals, including architects, designers, planners, and sustainability experts.

Perkins Eastman has received numerous awards and accolades for its work, including recognition for its commitment to sustainable design, its leadership in the architecture and design industry, and its contributions to the communities it serves. The firm is committed to delivering high-quality, innovative, and sustainable design solutions that enhance the built environment and improve people's lives.

The Problem

Perkins Eastman, a renowned organization, possesses a wealth of content, including imagery, textual content, and a comprehensive database. However, they lack a robust Content Management System (CMS) that can effectively integrate all these elements into a modern, responsive, and accessible design.

The absence of a cohesive CMS solution hinders their ability to efficiently organize, update, and present their content to the target audience. To address this challenge, I had been assigned the responsibility of designing and collaborating with the developer to execute and manage the seamless integration of the CMS system with its corresponding dynamic areas.

The Solution

A new CMS site design that would highlight all of the firms accomplishments, projects, locations, and staff while connecting to their already existing database. The site would have to be responsive from the outset.

Understanding the User

I started the research process by interviewing the client and gathering requirements. This helped me better understand what they were trying to accomplish. The client in this case was the end user and while we were aiming to build a CMS redesign for consumption by the public (meaning it had to be easy to navigate), we also had the added task of ensuring that from a CMS perspective we were properly taking into account all of the information, it's types, and validations for all of the content that would need to be displayed in the collections.

Research Insight

Here were some of the insights gathered from the research:

  • Users wanted an easy and consistent way to enter projects into their CMS

  • Users wanted a mobile first and fully responsive site

  • Users wanted a more modern look as their former site was dated


Following the analysis of user research findings, the next step was to develop personas, which aided in envisioning the intended audience. To facilitate the design process, I ensured that one particular persona effectively represented a user that was interested in helping understand their business and marketing needs, and who was enthusiastic about improving the workflow process, taking into account their pain points and frustrations. This persona served as a constant reference point throughout the entirety of the product design journey, helping to maintain a clear focus when making design choices.


Afterward, the focus shifted towards conceptualizing the structure of the product mainly thinking about what the functions and main actions required at this particular part of the process.

Given this perspective, I prioritized the use of Desktop computers, tablets, and mobile devices and proceeded to design a sitemap that visually depicted the primary user journey within the product.


At the onset of the design phase, I initiated the process by creating preliminary sketches outlining the desired page layout. My objective was to enable users to easily navigate all of the content, locations, and previous projects for the firm.

Low-Fidelity Prototype

With the foundation of the website's structure in place, the next step involved crafting low-fidelity wireframes. These wireframes served as initial representations of each screen's layout and content. Subsequently, these wireframes were transformed into lo-fi prototypes, allowing for a rapid assessment of how the screens should seamlessly flow together.

User Testing