Following IE's rebrand of the charity, Agapé UK needed to revamp its website. Our team designed the user experience around key user journeys, and built a rich, modern and highly polished WordPress site to showcase the new brand.
For over 50 years, Agapé UK has been inspiring people to discover Jesus at home, at work, at university and abroad. As the UK arm of an international Christian charity, active in over 190 countries, Agapé UK is bringing people together and transforming lives.
The new website is bold, dynamic and energetic – designed to engage with and enthuse all users, wherever they are on their spiritual journey.
IE Digital kicked off the website project with a workshop where we asked a range of questions and listened as Agapé UK’s key stakeholders defined what success would look like for them.
We defined Agapé UK’s primary audience – the people for whom we would design the site’s user experience – as Christians at any stage in their journey of faith. Christians make up around 3% of the UK population and includes Church leaders and individual supporters. We agreed that the new website should excite and equip Christians to grow and share their faith.
We defined a number of ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ success criteria for the new website.
Hard success criteria
We needed to streamline content to reduce the overall volume and improve the user experience with clear signposting and a more intuitive navigation structure. The site also needed to enable Agapé UK’s internal web team to add and edit pages, sections and menu items with ease.
To gauge user engagement and the quality of the site’s content, Agapé UK wanted to see an increase in the number of pages visited by users, and the time spent on key pages.
Having invested in a new brand for the charity, the site should be a beautiful, compelling and faithful embodiment of the new brand online. The new messaging allows Agapé UK to explain, clearly and accurately, who they are, what they do, and why they exist.
Soft success measures
On the softer side, the site needed to convey Agapé UK’s enthusiasm and a sense of forward momentum, inspiring and exciting more people ‘on the ground’. Agapé UK’s staff should feel proud of the site and more confident about actively referring people to it. And in order to better reflect people’s experience of Agapé UK in person, it should be ‘broadcasting’ less and feel more experiential/conversational.
IE’s staff were knowledgeable and always on hand to talk when needed. They were flexible and able to design something that would work within the technology constraints we gave them, and they soon got us up to speed with training on how to run and maintain the website.
We are more than delighted with the final product and enjoy showing it off to people.
IE Digital translated the outputs from the workshop, and the work we’d done to date for the charity rebrand, to define the user experience for the new website.
For the primary audience, Agapé UK is looking to attract and engage them, encouraging them to step towards the charity in some way. We needed to ensure that they could land on the website at almost any level and know from its structure, design and language that the website is ‘for them’.
We defined the key user journeys and used those to craft the structure of the content and navigation. No matter what the situation or where the need, the site needed to be highly accessible and approachable for those exploring faith, and to lead with practical support. IE structured the website to highlight the four key areas of ministry – Agapé UK at home, at work, at university and abroad. We also added a top-level navigation layer to point to other relevant content and services, such as news and stories and ways to get involved and support the charity.
Once we’d mapped out the user journeys and created wireframes, our digital designers crafted a beautifully on-brand, elegant visual design for the new website.
This built on the homepage design we’d created as part of the rebranding project which set the general look and feel. We gathered feedback on the homepage, before refining the designs and rolling them out across the key page templates, with several waves of reviews, feedback, and refinement.
The final design is bold, dynamic and energetic – designed to engage with and enthuse all users, irrespective of their beliefs and where they are on their own spiritual journey.
Front-end development and WordPress integration
Agapé UK required the new site to slot seamlessly into the technical architecture of their umbrella organisation, Cru (known outside the US as Campus Crusade for Christ International). This meant that building the site in WordPress was a must, and we were restricted to using the Elementor theme and template package, with only a small set of ‘whitelisted’ modules available to us.
Our front-end developers built a rich, modern and highly polished set of fully responsive front-end templates from the agreed visual designs. We then deployed the WordPress CMS, rolled in the templates, and implemented the agreed website functionality.
Before launching the new site, IE trained the Agapé UK team, to ensure that knowledge and expertise on the new site was embedded within the charity.
Agapé UK created the new content for the website, guided by the brand messaging matrix and visual assets IE created as part of the rebrand. Once the new content was in place, we took Agapé UK through a thorough acceptance testing phase to resolve any outstanding issues. Then once the new site was deployed to live, we began a 30-day ‘snagging’ period to smooth over any teething problems, before handing over complete control of the site to Agapé UK.
Prior to the website project, IE Brand had already conducted stakeholder research and made a number of recommendations to Agapé UK. These included the need to embrace digital, and consolidate their little-used social media channels,of which there were dozens. With a much simplified brand architecture in place, Agapé UK can now focus on using a few key accounts to build conversations and engage with their audience.