The short story
LiveWest is a social housing provider with over 30,000 affordable homes across the south-west and a clear aim to provide a ‘home for everyone’.
LiveWest had formed from a large and successful merger and needed to create a clear, distinctive identity that reflected its new status. Fiora was briefed with pulling together their four disparate websites into one, ensuring it was perfectly tailored to their various needs.
The new website was more than just an amalgamation of four disparate websites — it was a fully collaborative experience that addressed the needs of a large number of stakeholders and users. This resulted in a site that unified expertise, needs and solutions in a clear, friendly and inclusive way.
The long story
The right tone of voice
One of the main objectives for all LiveWest content was to create a strong relationship with their customers. While wanting to move away from the stuffy and impersonal tone of competitors, it was vital to strike the right balance between friendly and empowering. Customers needed to be guided with a clear and approachable voice, yet feel able to help themselves when necessary, so it was important to avoid language that might be deemed overly simplified or patronising.
In order to create a website that satisfied both customers and staff alike, we needed to hear their concerns, feedback and suggestions first-hand. To do this, we headed down to LiveWest’s headquarters in Exeter to conduct a number of individual and group interviews. Each department had its own set of needs and objectives which needed to be implemented smoothly across the website wireframes.
Some of the various department needs that we implemented were:
The Careers Team: Needed to integrate a third-party job hosting partner into the site, requiring careful design and strategic planning to ensure applicants had a clear and simple journey.
The New Home Department: Required a property website-style set-up, including click-throughs into developments, a gallery of different homes, and search functions that took into account budget and space requirements.
Customer Care Team: After building data from common customer questions and issues, the team wanted a ‘solve an issue page’ that would allow customers to navigate through a series of how-to guides and articles. To help with navigation, we created an intuitive search box function that allowed users to target specific issues.
Anti-social Behaviour Team: With the team’s requirements leaning towards customer advice and resources, we merged their needs with the Customer Care Team. We added key articles to the ‘solve an issue’ page that related to topics such as domestic abuse and noise complaints.
While feedback from the LiveWest team was key in creating a clear and viable website, it was equally important to hear from the consumers as well. We selected a diverse group of customers from different backgrounds and age groups, showcasing different versions of the website and gathering feedback through discovery sessions, user experience testing and focus groups.
This vital research helped us perfect the website UI through a deeper understanding of category grouping, navigation requirements and average computer literacy skills.
From data collected by the Customer Care team, hands-on research with core customers, and from working with the wider LiveWest team, we landed on the various content pages that needed to populate the site.
Industry-specific content, such as consumer guides and housing industry information, was provided by the LiveWest team, using their expertise and experience to pinpoint the most useful and important information. This content was then edited by our copywriter, ensuring it was accessible, easy to understand and searchable across the site and wider web.
It was important that the website design was clear and friendly, while coming from a place of authority. The use of pinks, blues and yellows created a bright yet calming atmosphere that complemented the character of the brand, while our character designs created a welcoming, inclusive environment by representing a wide range of LiveWest customers.
To help inform consumers, while encouraging self-empowerment, we created a range of informative animations that were placed in the ‘solve an issue’ section. These covered various issues, from how to reduce condensation and tackle anti-social behaviour, to using key information from long-form articles that were condensed into clear, bite-sized content.