The Hampshire Archives Trust is a member-led charity that works to support and promote the rich archival heritage of Hampshire.
The task was to create a more contemporary and engaging design whilst also carrying out a thorough restructure of the content so that users could find the content they were looking for with ease. The organisation was also looking to invest in their social media, so ensuring that any new site would work well with social media sharing was also important.
In addition, a simpler and more coherent content structure and information architecture would provide an improved user experience whilst also enabling the organisation to manage content changes themselves and thereby save precious resources. Creating a better user experience should lead to better engagement, more and better grant applications, as well as membership sign-ups and donations.
The first step was to create a new brand moving away from the red and black colours of the existing brand. We chose to use green and blue with a gradient to reflect the countryside and the sea – both strongly associated with Hampshire. We combined this with a shape that calls to mind a magnifying glass – so positive associations with ideas around archives and other items of historical value. We matched this with a contemporary font Semplicita Pro Bold. The new branding gave us ample scope for bringing a broader, fresher colour palette and creative design to the new Hampshire web design.
We created new branding, a new website and HTML email signatures.
We also produced a style guide to help guide the consistent implementation of this new branding across all digital and print media. The website was built using a WordPress CMS and implementing a bespoke design. The website incorporated membership management software, and this was set up to enable membership sign-ups and automated subscriptions. The site also includes an events listing system which a number of authorised partners are able to access to add events.
There has been lots of positive feedback from the Board, users and stakeholders about the new website, and although it’s early days, there has been a strong rate of sign-ups within the first few weeks.