Nationwide plc have been servicing and repairing vehicles across the UK for over two decades. In a typical year, more than one in 50 vehicles on the road are repaired at one of their 80+ repair centres. They asked Curve to help them evolve their existing brand online, and to deliver a more mobile friendly product for their huge number of customers.
- Responsive, mobile-friendly Drupal website
Nationwide required a website designed to improve the overall user experience.
- Custom Drupal module development
We developed a suite of Drupal modules for Nationwide, including a custom postcode search facility.
- 6 websites integrated into one Drupal platform
Drupal has been used as the framework for an extensible system that is easy to administer.
Over a decade, Nationwide had accumulated a multitude of websites and half-online, half-offline applications under different domain names. They knew that it was essential to find an experienced digital agency that could help them rethink their online strategy, follow through with the deliverables, and continue to work with them post-launch.
With broken user journeys, and branding that had become disjointed over time, Nationwide came to us for a more user-friendly website that could hold its own in a highly competitive market.
The main objectives of the project were
- Bring all the Nationwide sites together under one cohesive website, in order to solidify their brand and offer a more focussed proposition for retail customers;
- A responsive website with the look of a mobile app on mobile devices;
- The new website needed to contain a corporate microsite with feeds and integration from a range of proprietary APIs.
We weren’t afraid of immediately recommending a global rethink of the entire structure of Nationwide’s online sites, URL structure, and content strategy. The existing Nationwide sites were all stylistically different, and also served different purposes for a range of personas: corporate clients, retail customers, job hunters, shareholders and staff members. We began by working with the project team at Nationwide to define user stories and devise a structure for one website that would be able to serve its purpose for all of these various users.
As shareholders and job hunters had very different needs to regular customers, we planned a main website with separate microsites for corporate and careers information. The main website would still act as the hub for all information about Nationwide with links to the microsites incorporated so that they can be easily accessed at any time, but the functionality of the microsite was very different and specific.
Once we had the personas and structure signed off, we produced extensive wireframes for both desktop and mobile so that Nationwide could see exactly how the website would be laid out on each type of device.
Using the wireframes we then created design prototypes using Nationwide’s distinctive blue and orange branding. Calls to action were prominent as we’d ascertained in our persona creation that most users want to find price and location information swiftly, and the main navigation was designed with hot buttons to draw the user’s eye to the services they need rather than a set of plain text links.
The design for mobile devices was modelled on app design, making the most visited areas of the site (Find a Repair Centre, Contact Us and Get a Quote) the most prominent features with touchscreen appropriate buttons for each page.
We knew that the Drupal framework was a perfect choice to enable us to create a scalable and extensible open source CMS for Nationwide to develop additional features through further iterations.
The Find a Repair Centre is the most popular piece of functionality on the website with the most visits so we knew that this feature had to offer flawless UX as well as design. We integrated postcode search functionality with Openlayers to show the user their 5 nearest centres on a geographical map as well as in list format. This interactive map allows users to find the appropriate centre for them on desktop and mobile.
The new quotation system uses vehicle registration lookup to give users an estimate for the work they require. This system integrates into Nationwide’s retail sales system to monitor customer conversions, so Nationwide now have a seamless all-in-one system without the need to export and import data manually. We were also able to plug-in their bespoke repair tracking system to the website, styled with the Nationwide branding to give users a consistent experience no matter which piece of functionality they are using.
For the careers microsite, we built a fully featured job recruitment tool that allows users to search for jobs using simple to use filters or free text, find out job details and apply securely online using a saved candidate profile. Applicants can even schedule an interview online in one place.
We also built a customer module for the corporate microsite that pulls in and formats a realtime Java application and other data so that it fits perfectly with the rest of the site’s content and design.
Designed and built with mobile in mind from the very beginning, the app look and feel of the site in mobile view has a format that smartphone users will recognise, prioritising the content by popularity for users on the go. With our personas firmly in place, we were able to pick out the key content and make sure that this is served up first using buttons suitable for fingers and thumbs, eliminating the need for pinch zooming or lots of scrolling. A neat and inconspicuous menu can be accessed throughout the site with thumbsized icons so that users can find all the content that’s available in desktop view.
We carried out in-depth search keyword analysis to find the most beneficial keywords and phrases for Nationwide to target for SEO. We then went to work on their content, scrutinising and editing their written content to ensure it was optimised for the right terms. Page titles and descriptions can be easily edited by Nationwide’s staff should the most lucrative search terms change, but we prepared the site for launch for them by ensuring a plain english URL structure and ensuring page titles and descriptions were optimised for the right terms.
Nationwide have seen an influx in quote requests and visits to the website on desktop, tablet and mobile and customers have given extremely positive feedback on the new user experience. The bounce rate has decreased significantly as users can now quickly find what they’re looking for in just one click, making conversions swifter.
Our SEO work with Nationwide has only just begun. The newly launched site has performed well in search engines but their market is highly competitive and trends and search habits change all the time, so we’re on hand to help Nationwide with on-site and off-site SEO over the coming months. Watch this space for more details of Nationwide’s evolution in the search wars!