Streamlining a stellar experience.
- PGG Wrightson
- Planning & consultation
- Information architecture
- UX/UI design
- Website development
- Managed services & support
- Acquia (Drupal)
The main challenges that the PGG Wrightson were aiming to solve included:
- To move away from outdated software.
- To empower the internal teams to own more of the site editing and management in house.
- To improve efficiencies with editing/authoring the site (the legacy CMS was very time consuming from an authoring perspective).
- To improve the user experience by offering a diverse range of components for content editors to build rich on-page experiences.
- To elevate the wide range of services and make each one more accessible and easier to navigate to.
- To utilise a solution that offers the opportunity to personalise the user experience, not implemented at this stage but is part of the roadmap.
However, the key challenge of any large organisation with multiple areas of business and a geographical spread is to create an outstanding customer experience that allows the user to seamlessly navigate around the sites and quickly get the information they need. This was particularly important for PGW as most of their customers are based in rural locations. One practical example of this was enabling a customer to find their local representative via an enhanced “find a rep” feature.
The capability provided with Drupal when paired with the enhanced tools provided within the Acquia suite allowed the project team to architect and implement solutions to each of these key challenges.
What we did
With any significant redesign and re-platforming project a robust process needs to be followed to ensure that all stake holders are engaged and aligned on creating the best possible customer experience. A project team was created to include key team members from PGW, their design agency and within Tin Soldier.
Following this a detailed discovery process was undertaken that explored the following key steps:
- Data analysis of the current site usage to find out what was working and more importantly what was not working.
- Customer surveys were undertaken for the PGW Corporate and agOnline sites to understand how often, when, why and what customers are looking for on the sites.
- An Internal stakeholder survey was conducted to:
- Identify business goals
- Identify customers and products for each business unit
- Understand current pain points and opportunities
- User Stories were developed and refined based on the output of the previous research and project requirements.
- Full Information Architecture redevelopment and refinement was undertaken to remove deep content trees and reposition the key information in an easily navigable structure.
- Given the depth and breadth of the PGW business and old site content a detailed content migration plan was developed to:
- Facilitate alignment to new components and capability
- Define areas for content to be extended or rewritten
- Define areas for new content to be developed
- Wireframe development and refinement with user testing to ensure:
- Component identification and refinement
- Component development requirements and ACs
- Wireframe ideation and technical validation against Acquia to ensure that all ideas were achievable with the project cost constraints, platform capability and project requirements.
- Design mock up creation and refinement to encompass
- Responsive desktop design
- Mobile design
The output of this process was subsequently tested to ensure that we had the widest customer perspective possible. This ensured that when development and implementation was commenced it proceeded efficiently and unexpected events minimised.
Lastly, a detailed understanding around the capabilities of the platform was aligned with the requirements at each step to ensure that where possible efficiencies were realised through utilising OOTB platform features and functionality.
The advantages of the Acquia solution
From the outset the timeline was the biggest challenge in this project due to the pending decommissioning of the legacy environment. The Acquia platform provided capability that significantly helped the timelines including;
- Reusable components that can be applied in Site Studio as new pages are created or current pages managed
- Branding applied at domain level across the reusable components
- The Drupal CMS capability and flexibility facilitated an improved information architecture on all of the sites – removing unnecessary landing pages and surfacing content earlier for the customer.
- A richer customer experience was achieved with better site imagery, navigation components and improved search capabilities.
The open-source nature of the platform also facilitated the inclusion of contributed modules which further provided efficiencies.
In summary the Acquia platform has delivered for PGW in terms of the initial project goals, a greatly improved customer experience and continues to provide the foundational capabilities the PGW need to cost effectively build out and enhance the end to end solution.
A staged roll out was followed with the new PGW corporate site going live in November 2021, the agOnline site launched in early May 2022 and the remaining sites in the two months following. An analysis of the available analytics has shown improvement in two key metrics:
- Avg Session Duration increased by 11%
- Bounce Rate dropped 23%
This indicates that customers are more engaged in the content and spending more time within the site.
Pageviews have dropped since the redesign, which is viewed as a success when compared to the previous site’s statistics / customer experience (frustration). Analysis has attributed this to the significantly improved Information Architecture and a significantly improved navigation. Eg. Users can get to services much more easily now.
Improved dwell time, particularly on campaign landing pages where users have a richer experience to engage with has been observed. This has resulted in a greater engagement when compared to previous landing pages.
Over time as the site(s) continue to be built out via both expanded content and the implementation of new features / functionality available within Acquia (e.g., personalisation) we expect these results to further improve and continue to provide significant improvements in both customer engagement and ROI.
Lastly the refreshed look and feel brings the PGW site up to modern standards, and the aligned design, IA and componentry across the suite of sites has delivered consistency in navigation and experience for users as they navigate across sites. Positive anecdotal feedback from both internal stakeholders and from customers has reinforced the success of the customer experience improvements.