Is your website meeting the needs of this new world?

As we all continue surviving – not necessarily thriving in this new, socially distanced world, how do you as a business ensure that your website is helping you to stay relevant and meeting the needs of your customers?

At the start of COVID-19, we all had to focus our efforts on quickly getting ourselves up and running to work from home. Here at Olamalu, we set to work helping our customers to get appropriate access to information sources through the development of intranet sites. We built sites for a range of different sectors, integrating levels of access control to ensure that the correct information was available to the correct individual and that the sites were secure.

 

In the beginning, working from home felt like a short-term change, but as the weeks rolled by it became apparent that things were set to remain. Organisations changed focus to their business offering and asked themselves how best to operate in this new environment? For many, it became apparent that their websites are now more critical than ever before.

 

Adapting reality to virtual

Two of our clients were quick to adapt a key part of their acquisition strategy and use their website to take them online. The University of Oxford’s Trinity and Pembroke Colleges each came to us with an exciting brief to deliver their Open Days to prospective students virtually. The key objective was to enable the student to get as real a feel of the colleges as possible, without actually being there. Our response was to develop and build a technical solution which led the user on a journey around the colleges, showing them what it's like to both study and live there. This wasn’t a straight video presentation, but an immersive and interactive experience using a combination of video and animation to bring to life rich and interesting content which answered the key questions for prospective students. The design approach balanced the need to appeal to the target audience whilst reflecting the established brand identities of Trinity and Pembroke. Take a look:

http://www.trinity.ox.ac.uk/virtual-open-day/

https://www.pmb.ox.ac.uk/virtual-open-day-2020/

 

Tracking and using data

Another client who needed to react quickly to the COVID-19 situation was The Blavatnik School of Government. They came to us with a brief to build them a COVID Government response tracker. Using cutting edge browser based technologies which create ‘an app inside a browser’, we were able to respond very quickly and build a tracker which incorporated visualisations of government response globally. We were also able to advise Blavatnik on the best way to structure their data which we then turned into an API which was used by the BBC and Financial Times

https://covidtracker.bsg.ox.ac.uk/about-api

 

The need to track and trace led us to develop an app solution for another of our clients. We developed an application which allows visitors to tap in to register using a card reader, automatically stores their contact details and allows the organisation to tag who they were visiting. The app generates the digital records to meet its track and trace obligations which are then deleted in line with their data retention requirements. 

 

Time to reflect?

It appears that we are set to stay in this remote working world for a while, so now is a good time for us all to reflect on how things are working for our businesses and whether there are any areas of opportunity which can be met through adapting our websites.

 

Where do you start? We’ve pulled together 8 key questions to help your thinking:

  • How is your business running in this new world?

  • Have you made any changes to your processes?

  • Did you update your website?

  • Do you need to?

  • What have you learned about your business and your customers in this new environment?

  • Do you need to make any changes to how things run?

  • Are there bits of your business which you’ve had to press ‘pause’ on purely because you don’t have the technology in place to activate them remotely?

  • Are there opportunities you are missing out on because your website doesn’t have the correct functionality? Or, are you over using human resource in an area which could be digitalised? E.g. bookings or enquiries – freeing up precious human resource to focus on other things?

 

Once you have a clear picture of where your business is at, you can start to build a plan.

 

Inspired thinking

We’re currently working with several organisations, helping them to bring to life ideas they’ve come up with which will help them to better exist in the current environment.

 

Can we help you?

If you have a tech idea to help your business to function better in this new world, or you are not sure how to get what you need from your website - get in touch. We’d love to help.

 

We are Olamalu, Drupal experts and experienced web developers. We’re a friendly and down to earth team who work together to achieve brilliant outcomes. We’ve been building websites and designing tailormade tech solutions for a huge range of different challenges for over 10 years. We work alongside clients and really get under the skin of the business, understanding not just what is needed now, but also how to plan ahead and consider the business needs in the future.

October 2020