Housing Association

Acis Group

Website Design, Web UX Design, Web Development

The Client 

Acis Group is a social housing charity, providing over 7,000 homes for residents across the East Midlands, Yorkshire and the Humber. The charity prides itself on its motto of “going beyond the bricks and mortar to create opportunities for people to lead better lives.”

Acis Group also offers a variety of other associated services, including certified training programs designed to help candidates to pick up new skills and qualifications, as well as providing a home adaptations service to help people to enhance their independence.

The Challenge

We were given a brief that would result in one newly developed website that’d host 3 existing websites, while also adding a new service to the site. The sectors were as follows:
•    Housing association
•    Training
•    Home adaptions
•    Housing developments

It was fundamental for the site to meet required accessibility practices, namely WCAG 2.1 AA standards. The client also expressed the need for e-commerce capability to be easily added to the site to meet future growth plans. Lead generation tools were another key focus too, supporting wider commercial functionality. An onsite chatbot also needed to be incorporated into the development of the new website, giving users clear access to live chat options. Underpinning the entire brief was the general need to optimise for site speed, giving users a seamless experience and making interacting with content simple.

What We Did

To gain the clearest understanding of the clients’ requirements, we carried out qualitative UX research and an in-depth UX audit, comprising of: 
•    Full UX research, including end user engagement
•    Observing and gaining insights from focus groups
•    Working closely with stakeholders and various members of the Acis team

Report findings provided us with recommendations for user flows, information architecture, and user journey mapping. Our UX specific insights helped us to produce wireframes and creative design focused on accessibility and user interaction.

We used the above as a basis to create a fresh tenant focused website design, carefully looking at the accessibility requirements, customer journey needs and clients goals.

Our UX emphasis enabled us to create consistency across each of the sectors, as well as helping to customise user experiences for each sectors needs.

Our web development and testing process guided the implementation of accessibility requirements for text to speech readers, and this was one of the most integral parts of the project. The website was a custom build, with flexibility for growth and easy maintenance of the CMS which was also a custom setup for the clients’ requirements. Our developers optimised the build at each stage to meet performance standards, from keeping code base low to ensuring that web forms could be generated quickly and efficiently. 

The Outcome

We designed and developed a website which integrated the clients’ range of specialist services, hosted on a platform that gives the internal team total flexibility and agility over updating and managing site content. We worked closely with the client throughout the run up to the site launch, and we also held training workshops across different sectors of the business to support the clients’ team in overseeing the new site.

Acis Group housing association Accessibility website design