8 corporate websites in 7 months

UX / Design / Website / Content

Lucy Group was established in Oxford over 200 years ago, when William Carter opened an ironmongery shop on the High Street. In 1825, the business moved to a new brass and iron foundry in Jericho, which is still the site of the company’s headquarters today. Since then the Group has continued to expand and diversify into new markets and regions: it now employs over 1,400 people and trades in over 60 countries.

After a competitive tender process, Lucy Group engaged Torpedo to build their corporate group website and corporate websites for each of their 7 different business units. The previous websites were fractured, difficult to update using the existing CMS and did not accurately reflect the company’s business growth and values or clearly explain how Lucy Group’s diverse businesses fitted together.

For this project we needed to work with a diverse group of stakeholders on the project, from the Executive Board to the individual business unit leaders, and all the departments in between. We started the project by running an initial discovery workshop with key stakeholders. This was followed by a series of interviews with stakeholders from the different business units, including some new employees, to gain their perspective. This process unearthed a number of differences between the business units.

Lucy Group was not in a position to share specific content with us while we developed the website, so we ran a series of workshops using a process we have developed internally – Content Priority Planning – to help the businesses decide what information they wanted to put on various pages. We used personas to help define the type of content needed and how important each type of content was. From this we were able to create pages and site maps for the individual websites.

As client stakeholders in website projects often get caught up in the detail when presented with wireframes, we use a combined approach of wireframes and style tiles. These style tiles are a way of exploring what a website might begin to feel like, such as possible fonts, colours and other UI elements, to help stakeholders visualise what the website would look like without having to create a whole website populated with content. This approach helped build consensus and avoid surprises when we developed the UI. We used a structured process to capture online and face-to-face feedback from the many stakeholders involved in the project, which really helped us when we went into the design phase.

As part of our design and development handover, we created a bespoke design system – a single source of truth for all colours, fonts and UI components (such as navigation, cards, forms etc.) which are built component by component and combined to create all the different pages. This sped up the process considerably and guaranteed consistent use of design and code across all the websites.

Even though two of the websites required bespoke functionality for property details and product information, and an additional site was requested that needed designing differently, we successfully delivered all 8 websites on schedule, within 7 months.

Lucy Group were delighted with their new website and we received strong, positive feedback from all the business units about their websites. Lucy Electric were extremely pleased with the number of quality leads their site generated. We are now working with Lucy Group on ongoing enhancements and new projects.

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