Summit Body

Rocket Lift designed and built a new responsive website as an interactive sales tool for Summit Body, a custom manufacturer of freight truck bodies, in Portland, Oregon.

Summit Body was interested in modernizing their marketing with a fresh, professional website, to set them apart from their competitors. They had the unique vision for their account managers to pull up the website on an iPad while out on sales calls, to act as an interactive magazine of their offerings.

We got excited about that vision, because we know that designing a new website offers an opportunity to go beyond mere show and tell; to actually improve the way a company conducts business.

We got to work designing a responsive site that would look good on any size screen, but especially tablets, and that would complement Summit’s no-nonsense sales process that emphasizes quality, reliability, and function.

Architecture

Rocket Lift has done a terrific job putting together our website. It looks and works great. They were easy to work with, kept us informed about the schedule, and made a real effort to make the site the way we wanted it to be.
Gary Young, Summit Body General Manager

In order to represent custom options available for Summit’s various truck body styles, Rocket Lift extended WordPress with a custom post type for truck bodies and another for options, and linked them together with categories.

This allows prospective customers to browse customization options — such as truck deck finishes, tie-down strap anchors, and spotlights — right from the site. Rocket Lift’s custom system also allows Summit Body staff to edit titles, descriptions, and photos for trucks and options, and to manage their relationships. As their manufacturing business changes and new lines of options become available, Summit’s website can evolve to show their current offerings.

Design

This website benefited from sparse, targeted, well-written copy, thanks to the excellent work of our partner, King Creative Services, who focused on content strategy and copywriting. After considering how to showcase Summit’s line of large, high-quality products, we opted to display large, high quality images throughout the site. Great images speak loudly when pared with quality copy. Truck bodies are what Summit Body is all about, so that’s what their website showcases front and center.

Our color palette needed to be consistent with their existing logo and branding, so we chose complimentary blues, whites, and blacks, and added a subtle textured gray background to add a utilitarian sense of being grounded.

We felt a serif typeface wouldn’t work with Summit Body’s logo. The logo was thick and bold, and we felt that a readable, light sans-serif would work best. We selected Dagny Web Pro, served by Typekit. This font is at once beautiful, minimal, and functional; it works elegantly without drawing attention to itself, so it fit with our goal of portraying Summit’s quality in a no-nonsense style.

Just the Right Amount of Interaction

I highly recommend Rocket Lift to anyone that needs a website, or just wants to upgrade what they already have.
Gary Young, Summit Body General Manager

During our review of competitor websites, we noticed a trend of complicated rotating interfaces to represent product lines and offerings. In our experience, custom interfaces like these often detract from a website’s user experience. They can be unintuitive to use, often attempt to pack too much information into small spaces that don’t work well on large screens and break completely on tablet and phone screens, and can even hide information that may be relevant for search engines. It was really important for us to get this right.

So again, guided by our no-nonsense style, we wanted to avoid a complicated user interface for displaying Summit’s truck options. We opted for simple “options grid” system on truck body pages. Option label show and hide more detail on options, and we let large pop-up photos do most of the talking. This had benefits for usability, and gave Summit’s sales staff exactly the interactive magazine-like experience they wanted.

Visit Summit.