Minifie Architects Website Redesign and Replatform

Minifie Architects

We partnered with award-winning UK architecture practice, Minifie Architects. We redesigned their website to provide them with a visually stunning solution, built on a lightweight and easy-to-use Content Management System (CMS) that makes keeping their site up-to-date as easy as possible.

The brief

Award-winning UK architecture practice Minifie Architects approached us to design and build a new, visually appealing website that would not only be fast to update, but easy to maintain over time.

Minifie's website is key to showcasing their work to prospective clients and other stakeholders, but maintaining it was taking up too much administrative time for their team. A simplified content authoring experience can help Minifie’s team of architects to keep their website up-to-date with their latest news and projects. It also allows them to focus their time and energy on what they do best—conceptualising and building innovative architecture solutions.

What we did

Kick-off phase

To kick things off, we worked with Minifie to source key references and examples for discussion and alignment on creative direction. This helped us understand the general aesthetic and functionality the Minifie team wanted to see in their new website experience.

We also discussed the limitations of their current CMS and the frustrations it had created within the team, to make sure we could find an alternative solution. We wanted to recommend a CMS that would address these issues, and add value to their business over time. A primary aim of the CMS was established around improving the workflow for their content editors, who are often fairly time poor.

Design concepting

We then entered into a design concept phase, exploring various creative approaches across a few key website pages. These concepts were shared with Minifie to refine our direction before we honed in on a single design direction. Our goal was to refresh the site's appearance, while preserving its overall structure and existing content. We wanted to create an engaging website experience that encouraged users to explore the case studies, while illustrating the brand’s modern approach through an innovative visual narrative

Given the client is an architecture firm with a strong sense of aesthetics, we collaborated closely with them to ensure our design solution reflected their brand essence. It was important that the UI design was considered and robust enough to make future updates effortless. Highlighting project photography remained a primary consideration throughout the whole design process.

Choosing a CMS

With the growth in popularity of cloud and headless CMS products, we are regularly having conversations with clients about the kind of CMS that will best suit their needs. We don’t take a one size fits all approach to CMS’s, preferring to consider features, usability and price on a case by case, and needs basis.

For Minifie, we were seeking a modern, headless CMS, which was flexible and lightweight. Sanity Composable Content Cloud provides a high performance content API along with the Sanity Studio app, which is based on the Next.js framework. This means CMS configuration and customisation can be managed by the same front-end skillset and with one of the most popular frameworks and development communities.

We identified Sanity as the most appropriate CMS to meet Minifie’s needs, because it is highly modular, customisable and allows for real-time collaboration. It also follows a cost-effective and scalable subscription model, which reduces hosting costs associated with a more traditional self-hosted CMS platform.

Sanity employs a modular, ‘building block’ approach to content creation and management, utilising small, self-contained units of content which can be rearranged to create custom page layouts and structures.

Modules can be reused across various pages or projects, allowing content to be created once and be reused in multiple places. They’re also easy to update, with any changes to the module reflected wherever the module is used on the website.

Sanity saves time and ensures consistency with a single source of truth for content, removing the need to manually update content in multiple places across the site.

Built with React, Sanity includes its own library of components, enabling developers to fully customise the CMS. This allows for the creation of unique fields and layouts tailored to the content, rather than forcing the content to fit the CMS structure. As a result, content management becomes more intuitive and user-friendly.

In today's hybrid working environment, maintaining a single source of truth can be challenging when multiple editors are working within the same CMS. Sanity addresses this with real-time collaboration, allowing users to see all content changes made to any field and instantly roll them back if needed. Additionally, when someone is viewing a document, their avatar appears in the corner, preventing editing conflicts and ensuring seamless collaboration in situ.

The impact

With a fresh new visual style and a custom content solution built on Sanity, the website simplifies content management, offers real-time collaboration, and provides a digital home for Minifie Architects that reflects their strong, innovative brand identity, while allowing their stunning projects to shine.

Let's work together

Get in touch