UX & Web Design
Suffolk Coastal Services website goes live
Sun 28 Jun 2009
The Suffolk Coastal Services website has now been launched, and there’s a lot to be proud with the completion of this project.
Firstly, the website is essentially three sites rolled into one. Early on we identified three core clients that the site needed to target; these were “Local Authorities”, “Businesses” and “The Public”. With this in mind, each of the target groups were given their own sub-sites within the website as a whole. Each of the three areas were colour coded and specifically tailored to their audience in terms of language, imagery and colour scheme. However, great care was taken to achieve an underlying consistency of branding and design which ensures that the user is always aware they are browsing the Suffolk Coastal Services website.
The power of this website lies in the Content Management System which allows the staff at Suffolk Coastal Services to update any page in an instant. Digital Marmalade built a custom WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor into the back end of the site enabling complete control of nearly every element of every page. Furthermore, the architecture on which the site is built means that Suffolk Coastal Services can create new items within menus. The pages behind these new links are automatically created! This gives the client the ability to grow the site organically without having to call upon Digital Marmalade every time they want to add new content.
Promotional pods can be added to any page at anytime by Suffolk Coastal Services. They simply need to upload a graphic and select some options from a few drop down menus; then at the click of a button they choose which page the promo should appear on. The site is incredibly efficient too. So when a user uploads an asset, such as a photo, it is available for use across all three of the sub-sites.
Also present in the CMS is an email application. Through various data-capture devices on the site, client’s emails are stored and organized in a database. The site administrators can then use these stored addresses to send out targeted emails about anything from promotional offers to job vacancies. Other features of the site include a news section which makes use of RSS feeds and a “contact us” section which allows the public to send targeted correspondences directly to the right person. This is important as many council sites have a generic email form which submits information to one centralized place. The user is then relying on that email being passed on to the correct department. With the guidance of Digital Marmalade, Suffolk Coastal Services have taken a more personal approach to their contact page.
The real beauty of this site is in capturing the essence of what Suffolk Coastal Services represent. They are more commercially focused than the average council organization due to their partnerships with businesses. Digital Marmalade have provided them with a website which allows them to communicate more acutely with their individual client bases, which in turn only enhances their focus on excellent public service.