Scotland’s Largest Chamber of Commerce
Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce (AGCC) plays a vital role in promoting, connecting, and developing businesses in the North-east of Scotland, creating the right economic environment to build for the future.
Whether it’s supporting its members to become more successful, or playing a role in helping create a stronger regional economy, AGCC is ‘a cause, not a club’.
It's fitting that AGCC’s philosophy is together we can achieve what we could not individually, given it is the largest Chamber in Scotland. It represents more than 1,100 organisations who employ around 125,000 staff. That’s half the workforce of the Aberdeen city region!
Content is King
Due to the vast range of information and resources AGCC provides, the menu structure had become highly complex. Arranging content by internal departments made sense to the AGCC team, but users were beginning to find it increasingly difficult to find the information they needed, quickly.
The brand had evolved too. Following a year-long effort to challenge perceptions of the Chamber, the site no longer reflected its persona.
A new website would need to streamline audience journeys, help people find what they're looking for, and showcase the breadth of resources available.
It was clear that the best way forward was to start afresh!
With a strong shift in messaging and user-feedback that the site was becoming more difficult to navigate, we had to start with the existing content and architecture. The key questions were:
- how was the site currently structured?
- was it speaking to the right audience(s)?
- was the content accurate?
- was the content effective?
The first step was a content inventory; an aggregated list of every page and downloadable file on the site. Content is an investment, and the inventory made it easier for all the stakeholders to see the investment already made.
This was the basis for a content audit; what can stay, what can go, and what to improve? With more than 450 pages of content (excluding years of news articles), this would be a daunting task for any organisation alone…
Hampton supported this process by highlighting duplication and content gaps based on business goals and user needs. We were also able to connect the audit to analytics and pinpoint which pages were popular (or overlooked). This made it easier for AGCC to decide whether content should be kept as-is, removed or improved.
This proved instrumental in answering some of those key questions, and provided clear direction on how the content architecture should evolve.
Content is the interface — Sam Moreau, UX Director at Microsoft
The final content audit allowed us to develop a new sitemap, using card sorting exercises to test the proposed structure for sign off. That sitemap became the blueprint for the new build and provided the AGCC team with a visual diagram of where content would live and what format it could take.
After the content audit, we worked through our trusted web build process; style tiles, responsive prototypes and working demos of the site for discussion and sign-off. The AGCC team developed final content for the site, while we automated the migration of news articles and opinion pieces from the old site, saving valuable time and resource.
In a rapidly changing world, it became apparent as we neared launch that the new site would need content covering both Brexit and the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. The site structure was robust, yet malleable enough to respond to these ever-changing situations, and specific information hubs were easily incorporated into the build.
The outcome of the project was a complete website refresh, which launched in May 2020. With a new CMS system behind it, the front-end showcases the evolved brand with a bright, modern, and responsive design. Most importantly, it now effectively conveys the resources and services AGCC provides.
The content overhaul removed duplicate content and reduced the sitemap by around 30% — users have clearer paths to follow, and AGCC has less static content to maintain long-term.
"The new website was a significant investment by us in the future of our business. The scale and complexity of our organisation in terms of the numerous benefits and services we offer, as well as the need for both public and private areas of the site, made this a challenging project. Having the Hampton team as an extension of our own helped bring clarity and structure to the process. The technical team were a huge support to us both during the development phase as well as during the launch and beyond."
Laura Grant, head of marketing and communication, AGCC