New FM Approvals website delivers on its promise for a better user experience
FM Approvals will soon have a new home. Online, that is. The new and improved website (fmapprovals.com) is nearing completion and promises an abundance of new features and capabilities designed to help save time and provide a more rewarding experience for all visitors.
“Our current site has been frozen in time for years,” notes Terri Pellegrino, assistant vice president, business operations manager, FM Approvals, and head of the website redesign team. “It didn’t reflect the true dynamic nature of our organization. We needed a platform to properly showcase the unique services and resources we provide, as well as our broad customer base.”
The new site will offer visitors regularly updated information and provide powerful new ways to access FM Approvals tools and resources, including the online Approval Guide, RoofNav®, Approved Product News, Product Alerts, FM Approvals Standards, an events calendar, multi-language support, key word searches and an improved customer portal.
“From the beginning we sought guidance from our customers in designing the new website,” explains Rich Ferron, operations vice president, manager, testing and certification, FM Approvals. “We created a usability group and learned their likes and dislikes when it came to website navigation and other factors. We knew if we did it right, the new site could be a true resource for our customers and anyone else seeking information on our standards and FM Approved products.”
One member of the website usability group is James Golinveaux, senior fellow of water suppression products at Tyco Fire Protection Products. Tyco is a leader in fire protection, detection and mechanical life safety solutions for commercial, industrial, institutional, governmental and residential customers.
“I participated in some of the preliminary planning with the programming team,” he notes. “I gave them my wish list and they really nailed it. We are very proud of our FM Approved products and the fact that they are now easily searchable and accessible by keyword and subject was one of our main objectives for the new site. The old site made it very tough to find something quickly, if at all.”
Helene Hardy Pierce, vice president of technical services, codes and industry relations for GAF Materials Corporation, North America’s largest roofing manufacturer, also provided the FM Approvals team with website guidance. “First and foremost, the website needed to be easy and intuitive to use, regardless of one’s familiarity with FM Approvals,” Pierce notes. “When the FM Approvals’ website is easy to use and simple searches can direct you to the information you are seeking, it serves as a 24/7 resource or extension of the technical support that we offer for our products and systems,” she adds. “That’s what makes it important for our customers who are property owners, roofing contractors and roofing consultants.”
“The new website will better support FM Approvals’ global customers, who are increasingly consuming content while traveling or on a job site,” explains Sandhya Malur, marketing strategist, FM Approvals.
“Another one of our key goals is to expand the availability of FM Approved products in local markets around the world. Not only will the new site provide a basic level of multi-language support, but it also makes it easier for anyone who may not be familiar with FM Approvals to communicate with us and learn about our services and products.”
FM Approvals’ new website is built on an advanced web content management platform with powerful search capabilities. It is responsive in design and will support mobile devices, including tablets and phones. The website is scheduled to launch mid-2015.