Ashley Lewis, BID Manager
The Cathedral Quarter is formed of a collection of independent shops, cafes, restaurants and bars, stunning arts and cultural venues as well as historic landmarks, making it a real highlight and central point of Derby. The Business Improvement District (BID) were appointed to support businesses in facing the challenge that the opening of Westfield (as it was named at the time) presented. To help work towards this goal, the BID project were in charge of introducing a new website for the Cathedral Quarter that was not only designed and developed with its visitors in mind, but equally those exciting businesses that were part of the CQ.
Here at Frogspark, we were faced with the challenge of creating a complete website refresh that was highly user friendly, and focused around mobile users. We agreed it was key to create an interactive element to the website, that enabled users to use the new website whilst they were actually in and around the Cathedral Quarter. Part of this was working towards providing the best user experience on mobile, and this was something that was at the forefront of our minds throughout the entirety of the project with the Cathedral Quarter.
With a key focus being on the mobile side of things, this also happened to be one of the biggest challenges we faced within the project. When creating the mobile version of the site, it soon became apparent that if we used all the content that was on the desktop version the site, the user experience would be compromised. To rectify this problem, we looked to condense the content and hide other sections that would not necessarily have a direct impact on the user experience. In doing so, we were able to work towards the project aims of providing a high quality user experience on mobile and desktop.
We worked hard to create a clean and engaging design, that was truly reflective of the Cathedral Quarter’s brand values, and the ways they work and operate as a company. We made sure to keep this at the forefront of our minds throughout the design and development process. Not only this but making sure this design looked great across mobile devices, and really enhanced the user experience.
Working on the Cathedral Quarter website was exciting for our web developers, due to the interesting features on the site. The first here being our custom built car park feature, which didn’t just display generic directions of how to get there, but enables the user to put in their post code and be given custom directions (through integration of Google maps). This features really aids the personal user experience we were looking to create.
A further important feature on the site is the directory element to the site, which is easily searchable and provides the website user to the full scope of businesses and services throughout the CQ.
After our design and development efforts, we couldn’t be happier with the results. We created a site that not only looks great, but functions perfectly across both desktop and mobile devices. Making sure the user experience adapted to the device was key for us here.
Not only this, but the new site was much easier to use and utilise the benefits of for businesses currently operating in the Cathedral Quarter. It is now easier for businesses to update their offers and service offering direct on their profile. Furthemore, it is now much simpler to add new businesses to the site that join the CQ. Previously, the CMS (Content Management System) the CQ website was built on was outdated, difficult to use and not easy to update – which in turn hindered the entirety of the process.
With the new Cathedral Quarter, we hope to drive more footfall to the Cathedral Quarter and enhance their experience on and offline. The new website also provides a platform for current and future Cathedral Quarter businesses to really boost their profile, and compete with surrounding entities.