UI & UX Development & website redesign for two trade unions
We worked alongside a UX expert to redesign two separate websites on behalf of the FDA and MiP, both are trade unions and membership organisations representing the needs and rights of senior civil servants.
The old websites were not working hard enough to communicate the benefits of membership to new, potential members and it was difficult for existing members to find how to access the help they needed. Membership numbers were falling at a time when the challenges faced by the civil service were increasing. My role was to completely re-design both websites in terms of structure, look and feel – working from the wire-frames to design the entire site for the developers to build from.
The objectives were to reach new audiences of potential members, policy makers and key influencers within relevant parts of the government, media and the public. As well as to increase the recruitment and retention of existing members by better explaining the union’s work in defence of their members’ interests, and to foster better engagement with and participation by activists and volunteers.
Understanding the needs of different groups
We began by identifying the needs, challenges and interests of each of the different user groups, and where they needed help and support. Then we re-organised the structure of the websites, the navigation, information and tools around them and their needs. As a result, everything appeared to be carefully curated, focused and compelling for each user group.
A key focus was on very effectively communicating what potential new members needed to know to convince them to join, as well as signposting helpful content that they needed quickly. We wanted to significantly improve the user experience by making information available intuitively and easily.
Working with the communication teams for both unions we redeveloped the content strategy to ensure that it was engaging and compelling, useful and accessible, so that the new websites would work much harder to drive forward the union’s objectives.
Using design to modernising perception
Lastly, the key was to redesign the overall the look and feel of both websites, so that each of them reflected the personality of the respective unions – both visually and through their tone of voice. Modernising the perception that people had of both unions and ensuring the users experience of the websites accurately matched the unions approachability and effectiveness.
The design of the websites were based on an editorial/magazine style and the aim was to have regularly changing ‘headline stories and content,’ so that we were educating and raising awareness of each organisations’ activities and achievements, events and highlighting the issues affecting members.
After presenting initial concepts to our clients and team with the responsibility for building the new websites on the existing Content Management System we moved to the next crucial stage of user testing.
User testing proved invaluable
We carried out user testing with a small number of existing and prospective members to ensure that the people we wanted to reach were given the chance to use early prototypes of the websites and we could incorporate their feedback into the next stage of design development.
This proved invaluable and meant we could ensure that the new design, navigation and structure of both websites met the project objectives and resonated with the people we set out to engage. Once the designs were finally approved we handed over pixel perfect files to the team responsible for the build.