Bedfordshire council had run a quit smoking initiative for just over a year when they approached me to redesign their website. At the time they were struggling with user engagement and were receiving very low numbers of referrals. Faced with the potential threat that the government grant given to run this service would be pulled because of low referral figures, it was vital that the new website converted as many visitors into online referrals. They wanted something that would make the subject matter very approachable and informative and feel very different to the usual expected County Council aesthetic.
After the website was launched, the online referral rate went up by 87%.
The site was aimed at a wide-ranging audience – from those who have grown up with the internet and are tech savvy, to a much older demographic. It was important that the message of the site be clear and informative but not in any way patronising. We needed something which was eye-catching, engaging and very approachable – something that would look completely different from the usual (and expected) brand of a council website. Steering clear of cliche stock photography I used a bold and colourful palette, heavily illustrated throughout. This created a positive feel to the site, helping to deliver what is a serious message in a light, non-judgemental tone.