RCC Town Planning
With an ever expanding portfolio of success stories, RCC asked us to develop a new website which would associate these with their service offerings, testimonials, and news articles. This would give potential new clients a unique user experience, highly relevant to their planned project.
Distinct content types were created in TypedCMS for services, case studies, news and testimonials each sharing the same four service categories.
This consistent approach to categorisation allows a visitor's user journey to be focussed on a residential, agricultural project, commercial or equestrian project. As well as understanding the RCC service offer they can browse similar projects and see what others with similar challenges have said about Richard and his team.
We took a content first approach to developing the RCC website which meant that the copy was able to help inform the design early in the project. The content from the old website had been written by the client and was of a very high quality. We therefore agreed that this should be used as the basis for the new site but with better linkage between content for different client sectors.
The logo and colour palette for RCC was well recognised and associated with their high standards of professionalisation and successful case rate.
However, it was felt that the logo could be simplified and modernised in order to enhance RCCs updated web presence and offline materials.
The new proposal was presented in the context of the Sketch web design and it was agreed that this would be adopted.
UI / UX
The discovery information was documented in a design brief along and new content appended.
The user experience design work was undertaken using Sketch to create flat file representations of the user experience. These were then used to refine aspects of the design before starting the application build.
Laravel (an MVC framework built with PHP) was used for the website application (front end) so that fast, static content could be served, and content types (pages, case studies posts etc) easily modelled and output by category. This was key to delivering the core requirement of curated, sector specific user journeys.
Saas and webpack were used to compile dynamic dependencies into static assets and minify CSS. This reduced development time and build time and more importantly helped to boost the performance of the website.
Adopting a service-oriented architecture helped to significantly reduce infrastructure requirements whilst maintaining performance and resilience.
TypedCMS serves media over a content delivery network (CDN) and takes care of data backups. This enabled us to deploy to a DigitalOcean droplet with standard backups to deliver solid performance and appropriate resilience.
With no requirement for clustering or advanced network solutions, the deployment workflow can be conveniently managed using GIT attached to Laravel Forge.
The primary goal for the project was to develop a new custom website which would allow RCC Town Planning to showcase their many successful projects in detail, and to augment these with positive feedback from their client base across Wiltshire, and the Southwest.
It was an imperative that the four key sectors served by RCC should inform each user’s journey through the new website. This consistent approach to categorisation should allow someone looking help with, for example, a residential or agricultural project, to understand the RCC service offer, browse similar projects and see what others with similar challenges have said about Richard and his team.
At all stages it should be made easy for someone to contact RCC once they were happy with their credentials in that sector.
There was no initial requirement for re-branding or a new logo.
Context is everything
The many and detailed case studies from the old website had been written by the client and we agreed that together with an extensive collection of positive testimonials, these should form the core of new website's content.
A key challenge was how to ensure that project stories and client feedback could be made to appear on service pages which talked about similar projects. This was important as most clients have a clear project purpose in mind and wish to read about similar projects and what the clients have to say about the work of RCC in that sector.
This problem was solved by using TypedCMS for content management and tapping into the powerful and unique way can structure and filter content. This approach ensured that the latest testimonials and articles about projects would be dynamically added to service pages from the same sector.
The CMS (content editor) also brought another benefit. From a business value perspective we were able to deliver highly custom content management functionality across the site, without the additional expense of coding a bespoke content admin panel.
An early idea for a gallery at the end of each case study was dropped. We agreed with RCC that contextual images placed in the body of each project would make the stories more readable.
Show me a hero
Although RCC operate in four distinct sectors we somehow needed to bring these together to represent a holistic, well preserved community which encompassed residential, commercial, agricultural and equestrian settings. The banner or “hero image” for the home page also needed to be something which the audience would relate to.
Richard, the client, found an image which we all immediately agreed was perfect and we set about making this a key part of the design. We fully integrated this into the home page user experience and added the curve at the bottom to augment the sensation of space and depth the image already portrayed.
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication⁽¹⁾
The logo and colour palette for RCC was well recognised and associated with their high standards of professionalisation and successful case rate. However, it was felt by our designer that the logo could be simplified and modernised in order to further enhance RCC's web presence and offline materials.
The proposed new logo was presented and discussed in the context of the overall user experience design, and it was agreed that this would be adopted to represent the brand.
We explored ideas to extend the RCC brand colour palate it was ultimately agreed we would retain the elegance of the three original colours.
(1) Leonardo Da Vinci
RCC Director Richard Cosker's update on the business impact of his website is below.
The RCC Town Planning website gives me excellent results on search engines and the quality, and appearance of my website give me confidence in my business image and how we appear to potential and existing clients.
As a non technical person I find the editing software (TypedCMS) very simple to use. This make it easy me to maintain clear and up to date topic areas, which allow visitors to quickly focus in on the services that are specific to them.
Prospective clients frequently comment on the clarity of the website, and the information it provides them, citing this as the key reason they decided to contact us.
A custom website from Honeystone has been a good investment for us. We would happily recommend them to others looking to grow their business.