GIFFORD NOWLAND

photo: backcountry.com

Back­country CSBS

Design ⋅ Code
January 2013 – March 2013
Wikitext ⋅ HTML ⋅ CSS

Backcountry.com is the world's second-largest online retailer of outdoor gear

Project Brief

While working as a product expert on the sales team at Backcountry.com I recognized that there was an absence of adequate distribution and archival of the internal company newsletter, the Customer Service Bulletin Semi-Weekly (CSBS). I initiated a conversation with the Customer Solutions Department Supervisor and was authorized to lead an operation to digitize the newsletter. I endeavored to maintain its print formatting even though it was extremely tricky to recreate the subtleties in the table-centric Wikitext language.

Project Strategy

The Customer Service web team suggested that I simply use a screenshot of the PDF files, but I wanted the text to be searchable, editable, and responsive. I wanted to create an attractive gallery archive page with pictures of each issue that linked to the full-text, search-optimized version. Many times I had to code with no preview because the Wikitext tabular formatting would cause the WYSIWYG view to crash. After a few iterations, I succeeded at creating a true-to-format replica of the original printed newsletter.

mac screen
The Backcountry.com CSBS homepage

Project Result

The customer service department supervisors were extremely impressed with my initiative and I received considerable recognition from upper management. I was further contacted to consult on a SQL database project and later participated in user interface/user experience feedback discussions regarding the public-facing (backcountry.com) product list pages. Although I no longer work for Backcountry.com I am told the distribution of the CSBS continues to be administered using my original workflow and templates to this day.

A Backcountry CSBS climbing rope newsletter The edit page of the Backcountry CSBS wiki A product list page like the one for which I was asked to give feedback < >