Safe Communties Foundation
How do you make a website that's heavy on documentation and process, but doesn't allow that to detract from the main purpose of the website - which is to promote safety in the community and encourage more local authorities to join the programme?
That was the question we were asked by the Safe Communities Foundation, so it's a good job we love a challenge!
The answer is that you spend a long time listening to the client to thoroughly understand the needs of their community and you spend an equally long time planning the website's sitemap - before you even start designing anything! We were fortunate that the CEO, Tania Peters, had a very clear idea of what she wanted the website to deliver, but equally she was happy to trust us with the design and layout decisions - so it was a very collaborative working relationship.
Our ace copywriter, Liz, had her work cut out to describe the 'safe community accreditation process' in a way that is engaging, technically correct and includes all the relevant keywords so the website is found by the search engines.
The most challanging aspect from both a design and development perspective was the layout and useability of each 'safe communities' page which holds all the documentation and is a fundamental part of the website. If we got this wrong, then the whole website would be a failure.
Safe Communities Page
A key requirement of the website brief was that it must enable the Safe Communities team to engage with their community. So the website also features a blog, recorded webinars, newsletters, upcoming events and an integration with MailChimp so communities can sign up to receive the newsletter.
There's also an extensive "Community Login" area, which features a community discussion forum.
When we launched the site and trained the Safe Communties team on how to manage the site themsleves, the reply was, 'Gosh, well that's pretty straightforward' (queue some mental fist pumping from Designer Websites!).
It's what we like to call 'deceptively simple'!