World Habitat is a small, independent global charity, headquartered in the UK. Its vision is to solve the injustice of billions of people who live without a proper home, by seeking out and promoting innovative housing policy and best practice solutions around the world.
Formerly known as the Building and Social Housing Foundation, the charity rebranded in 2016 and needed to merge the existing World Habit Awards microsite with a new World Habitat website. In response to the technical challenge, we built a custom WordPress website with integrated CMS incorporating the awards site. Creating complex search filters in the back end allowed users to easily find relevant content and we extensively used the Google Maps API to present data in a meaningful and visual way.
“We were thoroughly impressed with the support, creative ideas and organisation from Cite during the design, development and implementation of our new-look website. They are all approachable, proactive, and dedicated to achieving deadlines.”
Having worked on their original site, World Habitat’s Communications team and its Directors appointed us to create a multilingual website, which would act as a hub for all communications. The six month project would form part of the World Habitat brand launch, as well as integrate the UN’s World Habitat awards.
To fully understand the user requirements for the new site and the existing functionality of the awards platform, several client meetings were held with key stakeholders. This gave a clear overview of the project objectives, functionality requirements and existing technical capabilities on which to build a project plan.
Some of the objectives identified in the research and discovery phase highlighted some technical restrictions with the existing site structure. This had grown organically over time and wasn’t easy to use. We were also mindful that the site was being accessed in remote parts of the world where internet connection may be poor, so over complicated design would not work well.
Due to the high volume of multi-language content, our strategy was to redesign the site around the needs of the user and organise the site in a way that made key sections easier to find.
Keeping ease of use and simplicity of design at the forefront, we created a WordPress website with multiple content sections about the charity, its programmes and the World Habitat Awards. An online application form for award entries was created and integrated into the CMS and a GDPR compliant newsletter sign up page was added to increase supporter following.
The site was in built in English, Spanish and French. We also used the WPML plug in to add additional language capability. Our design team produced a number of options for key templates, including variations in layout. We worked closely with the client to refine these until everyone was happy with how the new brand translated online. From the agreed visuals, our development team reworked the HTML/CSS and retested the site across all common browsers and devices.
“We were thoroughly impressed with the support, creative ideas and organisation from Cite during the design, development and implementation of our new-look website. They are all approachable, proactive and dedicated to achieving deadlines.”
The site has been very well received both by internal stakeholders and partner organisations. Feedback from users has been very positive, which shows through in the stats comparing the new site to their previous ones: