East Thames- Building a Digital Future

Our Latest Site Launch

We have been working with East Thames for 14 years now and during this time we have completed numerous digital projects and functional upgrades to their website.  At the beginning of 2016 we launched a brand new website for the client, with a more modern and engaging design and a better user experience.

We worked through a full UX cycle, performing Card Sorting exercises and producing a revised Information Architecture and a set of associated wireframes.

We then re-worked the design, using strong image led design techniques to make the site both more attractive and easier to use.  We also updated the responsive designs to make them optimised for a full range of devices, including mobile phones, tablets and different desktop screen resolutions.

We received excellent feedback from our clients, with people from across the organisation commenting on how attractive and forward looking the site now looks.

An East Thames Case Study

The Challenge

East Thames are one of our longest running clients and we are proud to be their digital partners.  One project in particular created a monumental shift in their digital landscape. At the time the organisation was operating two sites; a main site and an additional site which was specifically used for property search.

The decision was undertaken to move the site over to a better CMS tool and to merge the main site with the property search site. The decision represented an internal restructure and a wish to reduce ongoing overheads of maintaining two sites, as well as to vastly improve the workflow of the sales team who were using an out of date property site that was costing them hours a day of maintenance time.

In addition to this, brand and design wise they had an extensive set of websites and a confusing array of sub-brands. Because of this, inconsistencies with the look and feel crept in and there was great difficulty in keeping content fresh and regularly updated. We supported their decisive action in bringing all their work back under one umbrella brand and the new website design was a key factor in the manifestation of this new look and feel.

Our strategy

As with any project, we place a great emphasis on the planning and scoping phase of the project making sure that all the site’s stakeholders have their opinions heard and taken into account. We worked extensively to understand the various groups on the client side, from MarComms (existing site owners) to Sales (old property site owners) and make sure everyone had a voice in the initial planning phase of the project. It was important that control of the website could be devolved yet similarly permissions would in some cases need to be fine grained to prevent the site from being open for multiple administrators to be able to edit any content on the site. The key functionality across the two previous sites also needed to be replicated and improved upon.

A Drupal CMS was set up, utilising the existing branding and design, content was migrated and any functionality was recreated using tailored Drupal modules. The largest single tool on the site is the property search and display functionality which is similar to the tools used on almost all popular estate agent sites. We used the sales team’s input to guide us in shaping the most effective tool for them. During this project we tried to ensure, were we could within the budget and timescale, that we proactively delivered more functionality and improved a higher number of workflows then was initially scoped out. We did this because we felt that it was important for their internal strategy that all of the internal teams had a good ongoing experience of the new site and functionality.

The Results

The newly launched Drupal site was user friendly and simple to update on the back end.  Its improved user experience, functionality and design also yielded the following results:

  • Page views increased by: 68%
  • Average visit Duration increased by: 88%
  • Visits to the site increased by: 29%
  • Pages per visit increase by: 50%

In addition to the increase in site visitors as a whole the number of returning visitors also increase dramatically and now makes up 43% of total visits.  This indicates that the new site has been well received and is being used by site visitors on a recurring basis.

Pedalo listen to our requirements and take time to learn about our organisation. They have always been on hand to deal with any problems and provide an excellent on-going service so our sites can evolve and improve over time. – Llewellyn Annandale, Online and Marketing Support Manager

East Thames is a registered housing provider and social regeneration charity with more than 13,500 homes. As well as building new homes they also provide care and support services through employment, training and community programmes.

Project Highlights

  • 14 year ongoing relationship and online digital strategy input

  • Website redesign

  • Online housing tools

  • Community resources