Tim Ferriss, the New York Times Bestselling author, needed a website for his second book, The 4-Hour Body, and fast.
You could even say "4-hour" fast. Tim came to Digital Telepathy with an idea for the site on November 11th and by November 29th his site and vision were launched. Even with the compressed timeline, our process helped create a site that would be instrumental in Tim's new book reaching the New York Times Bestseller list, where it has remained for 40 weeks.
This is the story of that journey...
Tim may be the world's most famous lifehacker. WIRED called him "The Superman of Silicon Valley" and he was nominated as one of Fast Company's "Most Innovative People." Tim made headlines with his first book, The 4-hour Work Week. It spent more than 75 weeks on the Times' bestseller list.
Tim wanted The 4-Hour Body to hit the charts at #1. Nothing less. In order to achieve that goal the book's presales figures would need to be off-the-charts good; as would the design of the website to attract pre-order buyers. That made the goal dead simple: educate and excite potential buyers and drive them quickly to pre-order through online retailers.
Tim came to us on November 11th with a vision and a goal. With those two things the Digital Telepathy team set our process into motion.
Our design team quickly hashed out wireframes, comps and execution options for Tim to consider. With his feedback we established a rapid, iterative design process that resulted in the chosen design in days.
To Tim, this wasn't a book launch, this was a premiere; the sequel to a blockbuster movie. The site's design reflects the grand nature of the effort while achieving the dual goals of generating excitement and quickly moving people into the purchase process. To that end the site feels more like a site for an upcoming movie release than a book - complete with trailer. Even with the hectic timeline, the Digital Telepathy design process helped us identify the key attributes and site features needed to ensure that the site lived up to the hype surrounding the book.
The main goal of the site was to move visitors to their favorite online bookseller; yet we were hell bent on ensuring that the site worked as hard as possible supporting Tim and driving those results. So we focused on getting the little things right.
Fonts, layout & the video were all intentionally chosen to create the launch vibe.
We A/B tested the headline, quote content, and size to find the optimal combination to drive conversion
Each tab at the bottom of the page is it's own discreet URL, all in clean, easy-to-index HTML. This gives the site extra SEO juice, even with limited content.
We used Ajax to eliminate page reloads for visitors who wanted to read the tabs for more details. Ensuring a smooth experience that kept the calls-to-action front and center.
We went the extra mile. Even our CEO was coding over the Thanksgiving weekend to make sure the website worked hard for Tim.
Tim's audacious goal of debuting at number one was achieved. More impressive? It took the top spot in the second week in December - unseating the perennial #1 favorite for the month, the venerable Guinness Book of World records...The 4-Hour Body remained on the bestseller list for 40 weeks and is one of the most highlighted books of all time.
“Digital Telepathy brought design expertise and passion that were instrumental in The 4-Hour Body's debut at #1. If they can do that in 18 days, imagine what they can do on a reasonable timeline.”-Tim Ferriss
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