Turner & Townsend are an independent consultancy specialising in management & delivery across the property, infrastructure and natural resources sectors. They are growing and needed a site which would be able to better communicate their global presence and capabilities as a first-rate consultancy.
Discover & Define phases
The initial phase of the project focused around a Discovery Document, which my team (myself, George Butler (Senior Consultant) Mark Buckley (Consultant), and Tamsin Grant (Account Director) put together.
After doing a general site audit, and looking at all the research the client was able to provide (combined with data analysis from Mark), I was able to draw up a list of recommendations which we then presented to the wider T&T team.
From a content perspective – the general findings were that Case Studies were not being accessed enough, yet their clients were very interested in their content, as well as “thought leadership” (Insights) content which T&T produce but don’t promote enough. We also found Turner & Townsend struggle to speak to it’s users with external-facing language, instead using their internal structure to communicate their divisions etc.
After having reviewed a selection of competitor sites and looked at the content in detail, further recommendations were made on the taxonomy structure. An edit and clean-up was recommended, to get the right conversations started within the business. A tighter taxonomy would allow T&T to streamline the way content creation would work going forward, to enable the company site to grow globally in terms of content – and to enable content tagging in the future.
Another aspect of the site update was to check the content which was currently being produced, and to see how this would fit into the new site. This was presented together with the taxonomy findings, discussed and approved with the client, before site-mapping began.
Together with Tamsin Grant, we carried out interviews with various internal stakeholders on the project, as well as potential (and past) site users. These included a few clients of Turner & Townsend, and one potential client, as well as a Government official who works with T&T.
We also gathered a lot of data through a “Top Tasks” survey which was sent out both internally, and to external users. In the interviews, where possible, we asked the users to navigate the current site and tell us about their experience. Even though these interviews were carried out remotely, they were still valuable as the users had to describe their actions to us while using the site (as we were not sharing screens).
The Discovery phase gave us some great insights and helped us to address some of the challenges we would face during the project with the wider T&T team.
Based on client sign-off, which included settling on a taxonomy and gathering general feedback from the document, I could begin site-mapping and wire-framing.
A global challange...
Is the content available in my language?
Turner & Townsend had an additional challenge - their site included language content for their audiences globally. But the scope of the project would not stretch to create multiple sites globally (as this would involve additional content creation, governance and support, which would take additional time and budget).
However, T&T did not want to lose out on presenting the translated content to their audiences. We proposed a few different options to explain what could be done - with a top recommendation to create a few initial “Country” sites, which could then be built up over time.
As an interim solution T&T decided to go with the second option: we created a new section on the new site (Locations) which would allow users to access multilingual content based on the location of the office they’re interested in. These pages would include an introduction to the office as well as the office addresses.
The idea was that in the long run, each of these sections could then be built up in content, to eventually split out into 'stand alone' Country sites. This had to be discussed with our digital lead (Oliver Long) to ensure back-end integration would allow for future expansion, and then agreed with the client.
Explore & Implement phases
The secondary phases focused on site-mapping, wire-framing, content creation and user testing – after which the prototype was built in-browser (to ensure we met the go-live deadline) and changes were made live.
Once the sitemap was agreed with the client, I mapped the templates we were creating on the sitemap, so we could keep track of where each template was to be used on the site.
This (along with the wireframes) allowed the client to understand how the site would be built as well as giving them an idea of the kind of content they would need to begin writing for the various areas of the site. This was also supported by a top-level Content Matrix which was supplied to the client.
I provided Word document content templates for the main content pages (including the “Insights” and “Case studies” which were focus areas of the site) to the client, who then began working on content creation with a copywriter. This was done while our team worked on the Auxure prototype and testing with users (before the HTML prototype was to be built).
I wrote the user-test questions with two things in mind: to test the pages and layout of the pages on the Axure prototype, and to ensure users could easily carry out tasks which were deemed to be ‘top tasks’ (such as finding contact details or downloading an Insights piece).
We also wanted to test navigation usability – as the “Insights” section was placed within the secondary level of navigation, to ensure prominence, and we needed to test if users saw ‘best-practice’ or ‘thought-leadership’ content sitting within a section called ‘Insights’.
During our findings we realised that users completely missed the top level Insights button, and looked for “Insights” content in other areas (specifically within the Projects themselves).
This allowed us to optimise the prototype, and test with one more round of users.
We also found that T&T found the prototype really useful in on-boarding their internal teams and getting buy-in from their board, as well as their internal content writers (especially those overseas).
The design process began in December 2015, however due to an unexpected appendectomy I was off the project for approximately four weeks – over the final development and launch phase.
Luckily, the testing had already been carried out, and the findings were approved by the client. Another plus of working with the Axure prototype was that all the content was ‘real’ content (either taken off their existing site, or written by me specifically for the prototyped pages) – which meant the designer had real copy to design with. During my absence minor tweaks to the mobile design were done directly with the designer and developer.