As the newbie at Zengenti, I thought a good way to get to know the company would be to investigate how some of our customers are using Contensis. I'm fascinated by the different styles, technologies, and levels of complexity that some clients are using. So much so, I think that some of these customers are worthy of a shout out.
Here’s a selection of the brilliant websites I've come across:
Responsive and largely driven by statistics, giving customers what they want.
Wigan’s website can be very quickly scanned by the user. This is due to their excellent use of iconography and how they’ve matched these to their group headings.
'Resident', 'Council' and 'Business' are intuitive menu options, allowing users to filter out content that isn’t relevant to them. It’s simple but effective. Interestingly, Wigan opted to put the A-Z near the bottom of the page, which I feel works very well. It's not the first thing I see at the top of the page, but a handy helper if I haven’t found what I’m looking for from the navigation or the 'Find My Nearest' section.
I spoke with Wigan’s web team; Steve Harrow, Chris Gregory and Kalpesh Rana. They told me that, as part of the redesign, they conducted a full content audit. Internal content editors worked with staff from each service area to rewrite all of their content.
The whole project took only 5 months. This included the content review, creating their page templates, and implementing their new design into Contensis!
The Zengenti team enjoyed working alongside Wigan to help develop their advanced search – it allows customers to filter the type of content they see in their search results. We also ensured the search indexed a number of their sites, not just their gov.uk website.
Overall I think Wigan is an exemplar model for any local authority website. They have proved that even a website with thousands of pages can be beautiful, clean and intuitive!
Wigan Council employees and residents should be grateful to have such a knowledgeable and dedicated web team.
National Museums Liverpool
Delightfully colourful & vibrant
National Museums Liverpool is a vibrant and colourful website. It instantly made me smile when I landed on the homepage. They have made good use of colours and images, giving the user an insight into what they can expect to see when they visit Liverpool’s various museums.
A subtle yet effective use of colours has been implemented on the homepage. News stories from one of the sub-museums are displayed on the homepage with the corresponding colour for that museum. This extra touch makes the customer’s journey just that little bit smoother and slowly introduces the theme change.
With seven museums and galleries to cater for, I’m sure National Museums Liverpool had their work cut out for them when designing their site.
The website is fully responsive, allowing tourists on mobile phones to quickly check the opening times and locations of the different museums.
Well done National Museums Liverpool – you’ve managed to give each museum its own identity, but also keep it all under one roof.
A clean design that is simple, transactional and easy to navigate
When I arrived at Trafford’s website I was over the moon – the task-oriented navigation allowed me to find exactly what I was looking for. I also had the option to use the different transactional channels along the top, i.e. 'Apply for it', 'Pay for it', etc.
One thing which really stands out on Trafford’s site is that it’s very information driven. I don’t miss the use of images – I found that the information alone was enough.
It’s a fully responsive site which looks and feels similiar to the gov.uk website. The language used on the site is consistent and pitched at the right level of formality for a council. I trust them instantly and feel confident that the information is correct. This sounds easy but I know from previous experience that it’s not. A lot of effort will have gone into this.
Trafford Council launched the redesign of their website in November 2013 after months of research. This included workshops with Heads of Service and Customer Services teams, carrying out card sorting exercises to establish a solid Information Architecture (IA).
Trish Brennan from Trafford Council said they focused on making a transaction website and not a promotional one. They’re not quite finished; they’re still making some tweaks here and there, but are very happy with their initial launch.
Trafford Council use Contensis as their CMS and have accomplished so much through implementing different templates. We’re glad to see our product being put to such good use.
We wish you luck on your adventure Trafford and can’t wait to see what you’ll do next!