The VODG approached us back in April 2009, requesting we redesign their Website. The main problem was, up until then, they'd been stuck with an Web agency's costly, bespoke Content Management System (CMS) that lacked features and offered little in terms of custom design. We introduced VODG to the wonderful world of Open Source Content Management Systems: CMSs that are more capable, robust and up-to-date, than any of the bespoke options on offer.
Usability: Easy to Use, Easy to Read
The VODG website is essentially a 'informational' site designed to explain what the VODG does, encourage new membership, and offer news and advice to its existing members. It's a text-heavy website and visitors may be required to spend quite some time reading (from a screen!). Therefore, a major priority for us was to keep the site simple, free of distracting clutter, and to make sure it was easy to read.
Our understanding of good typography allowed us to produce page texts with a balanced contrast, and with a generous default text size, so as not to cause strained screen reading. A sensible 'content strategy' was also implemented, making it easy for visitors to navigate their way around the site to quickly find the information they're looking for.
So with the new website in place, early feedback from VODG members, suggested our approach had been extremely successful.
Managing the VODG Website
Not long after the launch of the new VODG website, VODG's own web administrator moved on to other things. So VODG asked if we'd like to manage the site for them. And we've happily been doing that for the past two and a half years, on a 'pay-as-you-go' basis.
On-Going Website Development
Since 2009 we've continued to work with the VODG to improve their website. This has included several updates to the user interface (UI) as the site expands. In late 2010, in partnership with the NHS, a large new section was added offering detailed information and resources on JSNA for VODG members.
Many new members have joined the VODG over this period also, so many new members pages have had to be added.
Other enhancements include adding a Blog with moderated comments and Twitter integration, and a simple image slider to the homepage.
Since we redesigned the VODG website in 2009 visitor numbers have increased by approximately 50%. As a consequence the VODG sees the website as a increasingly important means to communicate to its members and others. The site has been expanded and updates have become more and more frequent.
Membership has also increased by 30% during this period.
When we added the new JSNA section for VODG, we wanted it to be easily found via a high ranking on Google, etc. Using our knowledge of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), the targeted search phrase 'JSNA resources' appears at the very top on Google.com.
Overall, we believe the new website has played a significant part in helping the VODG communicate better with its target audience, and at a more general level, raise awareness of the important campaigning work it does.
See our Portfolio for more on the VODG