The Biodiversity Consultancy
Brand, Design, UX, Development
The Biodiversity Consultants(TBC) are a team of biodiversity specialists, environmental data scientists, systems architects and sustainability practitioners working with business, civil society and government to create solutions to the world’s most pressing sustainability challenges.
For over 15 years they have been the pathfinders for those who want to do better for people and planet, laying a foundation for organisations that match purpose with practice to effectively manage biodiversity risk and find the opportunities for lasting, positive outcomes for the environment.
The Biodiversity Consultantcy approached us because their current website had never been intended to handle the large amount of content that it grew to have and this was causing them several frustrating issues:
- Poor discoverability of content, especially key resources and documents
- A challenging and complex service offering that spans multiple sectors and industries offering
- Confusing information architecture that was never intended to hold so much information
- A lack of design flexibility and components making content updates challenging and time consuming
- Low search engine visibility
- A none enterprise level CMS meaning poor performance and accessibility scoring
- Inconsistent visual styles
- Ineffective site search further contributing to discoverability challenges
Planning & Strategy
To deliver best in class content management for a site of this size TYPO3 was an easy choice, it’s hierarchical file and folder structure combined with its powerful component based page builder and well organised record based content allows us to plan and create an enterprise level website that holds a vast library of content whilst ensuring it is easy to browse.
We held a series of discovery workshops to ensure we understood The Biodiversity Consultantcy offering and fed this into every stage of the new website’s development.
A key area of focus during the project was the importance of redefining TBC’s complex offering and extracting it down into a digital first “at a glance” hierarchy without over simplifying the content.
We created low fidelity wireframes to quickly explore content hierarchy options and to also run through user journeys to ensure content was found where expected whilst still ensuring brand messaging could be incorporated into a user’s experience of the website. Using wireframes in this way allowed us to plan a site structure that served varying audience types dependant on the level of information they required. Higher level pages keep content broader and less detailed but users can delve deeper into the site ending on highly detailed and often technical content when required.
Using style tiles for this project allowed us to explore different tangents of visual design without spending a lot of time. The Biodiversity Consultants, like many companies had created a basic corporate identity at inception which had slowly expanded and lost direction as time went on.
Although not a complete rebranding project, our discovery sessions extracted a design brief for the website that was not aligned with current branding so we had the flexibility to use this website project as an opportunity to realign TBC’s visual identity using the website as the first step in the gradual updating of all collateral.
Once a visual direction had been decided using the style tiles we combined these with our core wireframe set. Starting with a few key pages to begin the process of defining our design system allowed us to gain client buy in before moving into a more component based approach, creating a suite that could be combined together for endless layout possibilities.
Development & Optimisation
The website is entirely editable using the enterprise level CMS, TYPO3. It’s important that TBC can easily update content without the need to keep asking us for help. This is especially true with a website that has ever changing priorities and includes such a large collection of news,resources, projects, and a sizable team.
A powerful site wide search enables content to be searched and filtered to guide users to their desired content with minimal effort.
Website performance is really important to us. By using clean, semantic and fast loading code, the website is well optimised for search engines and to improve the load times for users. The website currently scores 100 out of 100 on Google’s page speed insight tool Lighthouse which analyses various factors including performance, accessibility, best practices & search engine optimisation.
The Biodiversity Consultantancy’s new website has a clean and minimal design, it’s fully responsive, easy to browse and ready to grow even more however needed.
Full training has been provided to the TBC team to ensure they can easily keep the site up to date and the extensive component library means that layout options are almost infinite.
The new website provides TBC with a powerful asset that is ready to grow with the organisation and evolve as their priorities shift over time. We look forward to continuing our relationship with TBC and supporting the growth and success of their important work.