Increasing Membership Enquiries Through Digital Transformation
DESIGN & FRONT END
Thames Valley is regarded as the Silicon Valley of the south, and with over 4,000 members, the Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce (TVCC) proudly represents one of the world’s most impressive and vibrant international business communities. However, with an antiquated website that failed to deliver what was expected from such a prestigious organisation, change was needed.
TVCC appointed Generate UK as its Digital Transformation Partner with the primary objective of better aligning the website with its brand. Working within tight brand guidelines, Generate UK has delivered a professional, informative site with a modern feel. An effective colour scheme has been applied throughout to aid navigation, while engaging features, such as infographics, video content and engaging calls-to-action (CTAs) are drawing new visitors in and compelling them to stay longer.
The TVCC offer 5 different membership packages to its members who operate across 83 sectors, so the site needed to cater for a diverse audience. To achieve this, Generate UK performed an exercise to define different user personas, understand their individual journeys and optimise the site accordingly. The result is a site that engages everyone, from marketing personnel through to managing directors, of SMEs through to global enterprises, with tailored content depending on where they reside within the Thames Valley.
DEMONSTRATING THE LATEST UX & DESIGN TRENDS
Wanting to be seen as a tech hub, it was essential that the new site demonstrated and embraced the latest UX and design trends to meet the audiences’ expectations. This ranged from:
- THE SIMPLE: such as optimising the site for multiple devices, to
- THE ESSENTIAL: including new information architecture to create better flow throughout the site and using wireframes to plan the changes before setting the design, and
- THE CREATIVE: like using animated scalable vector graphics (SVG) and CSS to bring the site to life, as demonstrated on the ‘About Us’ page.
DISTINCTIVE & INFORMATIVE
In 2016, TVCC enabled in excess of £2.2bn of international trade across 172 countries. Therefore, the site needed to showcase the best that the Thames Valley has to offer, while supporting its diverse membership. To achieve this, Generate UK followed PRINCE2 principles, from in-depth scoping meetings, through to detailed documentation and sign-off, careful development and an internal and external QA process to scrutinise the site so any issues could be resolved before launch.
To provide an indication of the care and attention given to project kick-off, Generate UK engaged in 10 days’ worth of meetings with key stakeholders from across every area of TVCC. These vital meetings were essential in understanding the challenges faced by each department, for example, the manual, time-intensive task of the finance department when booking events, a process that takes place 120 times each year. We also reviewed the problems with the old site, setting expectations for what was possible with the new site, and defining the objectives.
The end result is a site that meets the internal needs of the whole organisation, delivers what TVCC’s members were expecting and presents the right image to the wider business community on the international stage.
Generate UK has integrated with both Direct Debit and World Pay so the site is now able to handle online payments. As an extension of this activity, it ensured the site is fully PCI compliant.
CLEARLY DEFINED GOALS
Although every department within TVCC had different requirements for the new site, the overall objectives were to:
- Grow membership enquiries
- Increase member engagement
- Continually improve the member experience
Hosting the Annual Thames Valley Technology Conference at Microsoft’s head office, it was important to the TVCC that it was seen to be leading the way as part of its digital transformation strategy. Moving away from its out-dated site allowed TVCC to address its positioning and messaging, and promote the Thames Valley as a hub for business.
Traditionally a paper-based organisation that relied on leaflets and mailers to communicate with members, the new site places greater emphasis on digital, multimedia communications, specifically video content. Taking this approach sits in-line with TVCC’s digital transformation strategy and positions the website as a digital hub for business.
CLEAR INFORMATION HIERACHY
Within the design phase of the project, the information architecture was completely redesigned to enhance the user journey. Now the site has a structured hierarchy of information, which is clearly split out to tightly-defined sections across the site. Previously, the site had lots of sporadic links, many of which directed members away from the site; now the CTAs are focused with better internal linking to enhance the flow of information.
Generate UK is proud to be TVCC’s Digital Transformation partner. Having greatly improved the digital journey for all TVCC’s users – both on desktop and mobile, we continue to support them with a number of marketing activities, training and consultancy.