EpiWorksWe built a responsive website for a global audience.
We began working with EpiWorks co-founders, Quesnell Hartmann and Dave Ahmari, in 1999, shortly after they received PhDs from the University of Illinois. At that time they were just barely a start-up, working out of a single office hidden away on what was then the South Farms, far from the U of I Engineering Campus to the north, anchored by the National Center for Supercomputing Applications and the Beckman Institute. EpiWorks was still using university facilities and labs to produce trial quantities of their epitaxial wafer products—then they landed their first round of funding, so it was time to leave the university and start production.
EpiWorks needed it all. Corporate identity, brand positioning, trade show presence, brochures, presentations, and a way to explain their high technology that didn’t require having PhDs in materials science and electrical engineering to understand. Oh, and they needed a website too. After all, 2000 was fast approaching, and every high-tech start-up working the VC circuit needed a killer website. By that time, Roundtable already had five years of experience working with tech start-ups and major technology companies, so we were ready for the EpiWorks challenge.
Jump ahead fifteen years, and the EpiWorks’ team is approaching 75 personnel, working three shifts to keep up with demand for their growing product line of epitaxial wafer substrates for the compound semiconductor market. Surprisingly, this high-tech manufacturing powerhouse was still relying on the website we produced for them back in 2000. Epiworks.com chugged along—like the little website that could—for 15 years!
Challenge: The Incredible Shrinking Website
During the last 15 years, screen resolutions have seen incremental increases every 3 to 5 years or so. When first designed, EpiWorks.com used the hot new screen resolution, 800 x 600, which had just surpassed 640 x 480 to become the new web design standard. By 2004, 1024 x 768 was the standard and Epiworks.com shrank a bit. Thankfully 1024 x 768 remained the preferred screen size well into 2009, and epiworks.com, now slightly diminished, non-the-less held it’s own. Then widescreen monitors began to appear and Epiworks.com shrank smaller still. But 2012 was the tipping point, when massive hi-res, hi-def screens at 1920 x 1080 and larger began to dominate.
By 2013, “the little website that could” appeared smaller than a 3 x 5 index card. Surprisingly, the site actually scaled well when viewed on smart phones and tablets, but we all knew it was time for Epiworks.com to grow up.
An all new responsive design, built on a dynamic framework, flexible CMS, and robust hosting and media platform. New products and positioning for a new era of smartphones, tablets, high-resolution displays, cloud-based data centers and solar arrays. EpiWorks’ technology, engineering, and manufacturing capabilities have advanced incredibly during the last 15 years, and today Epiworks.com once again reflects their tradition of being—A Generation Ahead.
See for yourself.
February, 2016—The site will look a little different now that II-VI Incorporated acquired EpiWorks. We love happy endings and new beginnings!