16/10/2020 - Replatforming Active Surrey with accessibility in mind | Website Blog | Purple Creative Studio
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Replatforming Active Surrey with accessibility in mind

Active Surrey is an Active Partnership that works collaboratively to help everyone in Surrey realise the benefits of a more active way of life.

Hosted by Surrey County Council and working with Sport England, local councils, schools and health partners, it is involved in community programmes including the Surrey Youth Games, the Holiday Activity and Food (HAF) scheme and falls prevention for older residents.

The Project

In 2020 legislation was introduced that meant publicly funded organisations such as Active Surrey were required to have websites that complied with the WCAG 2.1 AA standards for web accessibility, prompting Active Surrey to review their existing website. Active Surrey needed their new website to be launched in time for the law being introduced in late September 2020. This required the migration of over 150 pages of content from their existing website to a new platform that allowed the communications team to easily edit and update and was fully compliant with the accessibility requirements.

The Process

We began the project in late July 2020 which meant we had less than two months to design and develop the bespoke website to meet the September 23rd deadline. The website required a design that stayed true to the existing Active Surrey branding, whilst complying with the WCAG 2.1 AA standards. Key considerations as part of the design and development included the colour contrast, typeface, heading hierarchy and navigation. 

Arial font was selected which Siteimprove suggests as one of the most accessible fonts. Users with visual impairments have the ability to change the core colours on the site to high contrast versions of the Active Surrey palette at the start of each page with a single click. Accessibility tests were carried out throughout the development process to ensure the standards were being met and the site was built with inclusion in mind.

As the project had tight deadlines, the Active Surrey team played an important role in migrating their content. We carried out Content Management System training that meant the team were confidently able to add content to the website. This training also meant the team were very familiar with the CMS when the website went live, and since launch, they have continued to update the website.

Active Surrey website before pic - Before Active Surrey website before pic - After

The Outcome

The website was launched on September 22nd, in time for the deadline! Not only did the website launch in time to meet the accessibility requirements, the new website also…

👆 Increased organic traffic by over 43% compared to the previous period making organic search the top-performing channel
👀 Increased sessions by 15% and page views by over 23%
⭐ Increased the average session duration by 21% in key demographic groups 
🦘 Reduced the bounce rate in key demographics by 8%

These results show the impact that an accessible and easy to navigate website can make on user experience. 

See what our existing clients have to say about us:
"Purple Creative came recommended to us by one of our local authority partners. During a selection process involving other agencies (that were much closer geographically), we were impressed by Purple’s understanding of our needs and their willingness to configure the CMS in a way that gave us the breadth of creative control we’d need to manage it ourselves. From the first time we spoke to them, we quickly established the sort of working relationship that meant that either party was able to approach the other with layout / navigation suggestions that improved the site’s usability. If we wanted to do something that might harm the UX, they were extremely diplomatic in breaking the news to us… Bearing in mind the site was conceived and launched in the middle of a global pandemic which made face to face contact impossible, the end result is a site that has needed very few tweaks in terms of the functionality of the CMS since it launched 15 months ago. When we have needed to contact them, they have always been prompt at coming back to us and have the sort of pragmatic attitude to one-off queries that you look for in a supplier. I’d recommend anyone looking for a new site to have Purple on their shortlist."
Bob Pritchard
Bob Pritchard
Marketing and Communications Lead - Active Surrey


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