AppSec & DevOps


67% more flagship product signups with Sonatype’s brand new website.


more flagship product signups in first three weeks


organic traffic for target keyword


more time on page

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When you’re building an enterprise product there are multiple cooks in the sales kitchen—or in the case of Sonatype—astronauts in the spaceship. And when they don’t get along? Then they need a coordinated website narrative and visual storyworld to align their worlds.

The opportunity

On top of software supply chain

Sonatype is a full-spectrum software supply chain management platform to help security teams and developers build more securely at scale. They are a leader in the fast growing DevSecOps industry, serving more than 2,000 enterprise organizations and 15 million software developers worldwide.

When Sonatype came to us, they held market share but knew that a new website would help keep it that way amidst many up and coming competitors. They asked us for help to increase the number of leads, modernize their visual design, and improve organic search results for non-branded keywords. So we went to work.  

Our Strategy

The challenge

Align opposing audiences

Increasing conversions is easy when you have a simple, streamlined product that speaks to one clear audience. But when you have an enterprise product that supports both application security professionals and software developers at the same time, you’ve got to get creative—particularly when these two audiences have opposing objectives.

We set out to bridge these two groups and make it clear that Sonatype’s Nexus platform could move them from a state of opposition to a state of collaboration.

The research

Bring collaboration into balance

Application security teams hated waiting for developers to find and fix vulnerabilities in the code, while developers resented application security for delaying builds that didn’t meet their security requirements.

We knew we’d have to tell a narrative that brought both developers and security professionals into equilibrium. Application security would want confidence in access to controls and oversight and developers would want to see how it would integrate seamlessly into their existing workflows.

Our task was to tie it all together in a cohesive storyworld that would elevate Sonatype above the competition.

The direction

Secure software at lightspeed

It became clear in our narrative that application security teams and developers shouldn’t have to choose between speed and security. We wanted to show that they can innovate at lightspeed with Sonatype.

To support this, we created a visual storyworld of large spaceships being built securely, representing the enterprise-sized software products that their audiences build. 

Naturally, this storyworld allowed us to bring in astronauts representing the different teams and show them building securely at speed in collaboration.

We also expanded the storyworld to represent each product in outer space. Nexus Firewall became a force field protecting teams from malicious open source attacks. Repository became a centralized building materials site, and Lifecycle monitored continuously against attacks.

Each of these storyworld pieces were balanced with clear UI to show how a customer would actually engage with the platform. We also highlighted integrations clearly in multiple places.

Our Solution

The moral of the story

All hands on deck

As is often the case with large enterprise teams, Sonatype was using multiple agencies to accomplish their goals. And while we have our own development team, we happily collaborated with theirs to take the website to the finish line.

After we wrote copy and designed each page, we exported the assets and left detailed dev notes with imagined interactions and CSS recommendations for them. We were always available to answer questions or adjust the timeline to accommodate requests.

“Thanks again for everything y’all have done so far—our CTO said this morning that the new site is ‘hands down the best website we’ve ever had.’”

Alli VanKanegan, Director of Design at Sonatype