Pengreen website showcase

Retelling a unique story

Pen Green briefed us to totally reimagine their online hub following years of challenges with their previous solution. We analysed pain points, for both users and internal staff, to ensure that the new hub would work for every individual. One of our main objectives was to retell the Pen Green story which had become clouded after a series of organisational changes.

The organisation had become divided into various segments, each with their unique audiences, voice and messaging. In previous iterations, the website was broken down into it’s constituent parts (Integrated Centre, Research Base and Teaching School), obscuring Pen Green’s complete provision. It was clear that this needed to change.

Celebrate what every child can do, not what they cannot.

A journey of discovery

Pen Green needed to get away from their existing CMS, fast. With almost no editorial tools, lack of media management and an agonising wait for basic content updates, the internal team had abandoned their online space. Whatever we proposed, it had to be scalable and empower internal staff to take back control.

We approached the project by utilising the incredible knowledge of the Pen Green staff. We assembled a robust project team, each member responsible for the success of the project. Working in an Agile fashion, the team met at regular intervals to oversee progress and ensure everything remained on track.

Pen Green Site Architecture

Laying solid foundations

Our first challenge was to reevaluate the information architecture by studying analytical data to inform decision making. We combined this with a thorough content audit to understand exactly what needed to be communicated at every point of the site. We studied user behaviour and developed robust user personas to ensure content and messaging was on-point.

After fleshing out the information architecture, we devised wireframes to focus on core content rather than style. At this stage, colours, fonts and imagery play second fiddle to messaging, hierarchy and flow. We utilised the power of InVision to collate feedback from the project team, resulting in just a single source of truth and rapid approval.

"Working with such a switched-on client team was priceless. Pen Green gave us their all. When a client is 100% invested in a project, the outcome can be outstanding."

– Ben Morgan, Creative Manager, Nephew.

Designing with atoms

We then polished our low-fi prototypes into high fidelity visuals using a process based on atomic design principles. All UI elements were tuned for pixel perfection resulting in a complete style guide for consistent future use.

Pen Green UI Components

Empowering staff with a CMS

We wanted to answer one question: When the project ends, can the client take control? The answer had to be a resounding “Yes”.

Utilising a range of premium and bespoke plugins to deliver sophisticated functionality, we bent and flexed WordPress to the best of its abilities to deliver a robust solution.

We developed intelligent templating tools via Visual Composer to extend editing capability. WooCommerce delivered online purchasing of educational materials. Events Calendar Pro delivered seamless solutions for management of Open Days, Degree Programmes and Short Courses. And we utilised Advanced Custom Fields to tie everything together.

Speed, Performance & Optimisation

With such a vast array of content and with a global audience, the Pen Green team opted to let us handle their hosting solution too. As a WP Engine agency partner, we called in the team to ensure the very best in performance and security.

"Nephew have been absolutely wonderful to us through this whole process and we are thrilled with the results. We can’t thank you enough for your patience, dedication and hard work."

- Rebecca Elliott, Marketing and Communications Officer, Pen Green Children's Centre

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