We love to hear how much People love Perch and this interview is with Philip Hansen from design agency Open Water.

Tell us a bit about yourself

We are a small design and branding agency based in Kent working on brand creation and development, implementing great ideas online and offline for clients like HSBC Merchant Services and Kent Police. We can literally be working on animations and interface design in the morning and branding for a Spanish bank by the afternoon.

We are primarily design led, which is often a challenge to our developer! We prefer to design from scratch to our clients requirements and then find the technical solution to fit. This can lead to some interesting solutions and places the client at the centre of what we do not a system or template we have developed.

What sites have you used Perch on recently?

MAF Youth – our favourite project to date using Perch as the CMS.

MAF are a charity that provide flights to hard to reach places around the world, supporting charities in delivering aid and people where they are needed the most. The site was built around the stories behind what they do. One of the primary goals being the sharing of these stories.

The site is fully responsive, adapting the template and hiding content depending on the screen size of the user. All the stories and images are tagged through Perch so this content could be used dynamically throughout the site. This can give a rich picture of, for example, their work in Kenya; or show you the kind of work they do with one of their planes. The site also features an interactive map, secure download area and news. A sophisticated use of their unique content, managed simply and effectively through Perch.

Global Fortress – a simple site for PCI DSS compliance product from Global Payments (previously HSBC Merchant Services). The site was designed around a brand we created for them, Perch doesn’t place any limitations on the design and enabled us to keep the content management of the site as simple and clear as the site itself.

Open Water – our own site was the first place we used Perch. Perch enables us to manage the page content, our blog, portfolio, slideshows and even our Twitter feed incredibly simply and whilst protecting the integrity of the design. It was through our site we started to see the potential that Perch had for more than just simple sites.

Why did you choose Perch?

We had become very dissatisfied with other more feature rich CMS, that clients then struggled with using day to day. We didn’t want a CMS that could do everything that you could ever want (and would never use) but was awkward to use every day. So a simpler, easy to use system was very attractive to us. When we stared using it we then realised that actually we could do what was needed for more complex sites with it too. Simple to use and some powerful functionality.

How do you find working with Perch?

Perch is very easy to start using, we didn’t need to change the way we designed and built to fit around it. We’ve often found ourselves thinking we would need to change CMS to include a particular functionality and then finding Perch is flexible enough to get what we need. The support is excellent and the developments and updates bring new functionality and reassure our clients that they won’t fall out of date.

How do the content creators/site owners find working with Perch?

I think the best endorsement for a CMS is that the client doesn’t actually talk about it. Once we have given a brief run down to our clients on how to use Perch (which mostly they can see for themselves), then we don’t really hear much more about it.

A CMS shouldn’t be noticed, it should just work and allow the site owner to do what they want with their content without a great deal of technical knowledge and as quickly as possible.

With Perch we’ve found the initial learning curve is much quicker and there are far fewer enquiries once they are using it.