Today Directors UK launched their new site. This project has taken up a good portion of my working life over the past 10 months.
It seems to be the first thing that most digital managers attempt to convince everyone is needed when they start at a new organisation but at Directors UK a new site was well overdue and I didn’t have to do too much convincing in order to get the wheels in motion.
This was by no means the first (or hopefully last) new website project that I’ve lead but Directors UK, being a membership organisation, presented a set of requirements that I hadn’t had to deal with directly before. Luckily we enlisted the lovely, very talented (and very bearded) folk at Substrakt as our web agency for the project, a good agency can make or break a complex project like this where you are dealing with numerous existing IT systems, an extremely diverse array of stakeholders and a typical primary user who is very visually literate. Demanding would be an accurate description.
At its best a project like this can help an organisation really interrogate and analyse its purpose and whether things are working as well as they should. It offers space to take a step back and reflect on things, which is always a valuable exercise (incidentally if you want to just undergo this part of the process then I’d thoroughly recommend Chris Unitt who helped us out by running a couple of workshops in which we took a fresh look at our user groups, stakeholders and, as a result, the actual requirements we should have of the website).
Directors UK has, as an organisation, grown considerably in both size and complexity since the old site was developed in 2011. The new site (hopefully!) supports the organisations current needs and ambitions and will also provide a suitably robust platform for them over the next few years.
I always forget just how much blood, sweat and tears are required for a successful relaunch and I’m really proud of the work that we have done on this. Special thanks are due to all the boys at Substrakt (in particular; Max, Mark, Andy and Jim) and my colleague Marc at Directors UK, it quite literally wouldn’t have happened without them.
I’ll do a bit more of a considered reflection on all this once things have bedded in.