It may seem strange, but even though we’re based in Nashville, TN (a.k.a. Music City), we don’t build many sites for artists. When Reba McEntire’s folks came to us for the first time – a few years back, we realized that hers was no ordinary artist site. Reba isn’t just an artist. With a career as broad and vast as hers, she’s really become a brand. We originally created three sites – Reba.com to help tell her story and quantify her accomplishments (the musician, the actor, the author) and connect her with the people who mean the most – her fans.
We ended up designing and building three separate websites for her, including RebaStyle.com (a full e-commerce site) showcasing her fashion products and consumer home goods, and RebaNet – a complimentary fan club membership portal for exclusive digital content. We were honored when the Starstruck Entertainment folks came back to us for a full redesign of all three sites in 2012.
In collaboration with our expert coder partners at Atiba Software, we fully redesigned both the front end of Reba.com, RebaStyle.com and RebaNet. Cabedge handled the front end design and usability, and Atiba re-coded the entire backend of all sites in Python (django CMS) and WordPress (RebaStyle.com blog).
Reba’s company, Starstruck Entertainment, had some critical business goals to accomplish that revolved around the coming release of her new TV series on ABC, Malibu Country. From a branding standpoint, they needed to help transition from “Reba the artist” to “Reba the mother.” They needed to expand the functionality for her career-based website – Reba.com, as well as do a full redesign of Reba.com and RebaStyle.com.
While Project Management is part of all our projects, it became especially critical for this one. By expertly managing timelines, creative personnel, assets and collaboration with both Starstruck Entertainment and Atiba Software, our project management team helped deliver a quality user experience to Reba’s fans on multiple web platforms.
The web design portion of this project was challenging in that we had to redesign a site that was beloved by millions of fans. The problem for our client was that they were trying to reposition Reba from being a recording artist first, to an actress representing a mother primarily. To do this, we were provided with assets that represented her new TV series on ABC – Malibu Country. We created custom design directions for our client to choose from.
We did so for both Reba.com and RebaStyle.com simultaneously as part of the same project – delivering at a high level on fan club-based promotional content on one hand, and e-commerce business, user experience and functionality on the other.
But we weren’t done yet. Reba.com has a very complex fan club portal that needed to be redesigned and refurbished. With care, we underwent a process to deliver password protected exclusive content at a high level for Reba and her fans.
INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE & USER EXPERIENCE
Reba.com and Rebastyle.com each presented some special challenges from a user experience standpoint. With a career spanning the recording studio, Broadway, TV and movies, we spent considerable effort refining intuitive and concise ways to present all of her music and other work. The new Rebastyle.com was really a combination of four separate sites that needed to function as one.
Our detailed architecture and wireframing process allowed us to properly plan for the functions and content of each site before beginning any design. From V1 to V2, we needed to take into account more custom video integration and social media feeds than ever before.