NTW's third year

Written by Julian Sykes


Over the last three months we have been working with NTW to build on their online presence and look to develop the destination website. Since we started working with NTW a lot of technological developments have taken place. Just looking at the analytics for the site and how they have changed really shows how differently people are consuming online services. The tablet and also the mobile have all seen huge growth in terms of viewing the NTW website.

With this in mind we are developing a responsive site that will adapt depending on the device. We decided this was the best approach for NTW for a number of reasons. We really believe that the mobile experience and desktop experience are one in the same. Meaning that with todays networked platforms you dont want to follow a link to a specific article and come to realise due to them having a mobile version of their website it throws you onto the homepage.

We also realise there is a really interesting development when it comes to thinking about what information should be present on a mobile experience compared to desktop. I think originally it was seen that the mobile version should be a lite version of the desktop, however we believe this is changing. With higher resolutions and mobiles becoming powerful mini PC's the lite version are becoming annoying. We want to browse and consume content on these devices and not just get a lite version of the experience. An example for me is the use of facebook. I think on nearly every occasion I have scrolled down from the mobile experience to turn it onto the desktop version.

all of this thinking really revolves around a slight shift in the thinking about websites and how they are viewed. In someways I think the idea of a website is a problem of how they were first created. A space to advertise yourself or your company. It was still very much about the traditional view centred around advertising one of interruption and one - to many techniques created by the ad men made famous by the recent Mad Men television show. As the internet has matured the usage of it is also developing. The idea of websites being services and aiding in information, developing conversations and relationships with customers are all becoming key features of websites.

This work is developed through a really interesting mixture of the companies vision and that of the customer and what they want. Never has the line "the customer is always right" more applicable. We have therefore developed the NTW service by trying to understand the user of the site and understand the tasks that they want to do on the service. We also want to look at the priority of these tasks and how many different customers or users NTW has. We have also imposed a different approach to the actual build of the site with us delivering the site at a much earlier stage than we would normally. The site has been growing and developing as we go but NTW have been involved in this growth. We feel this iterative approach has allowed the understanding of choices and us to develop as we go as actually being a quicker way of working on the project. It has also allowed NTW to understand and develop content at a much earlier stage which we hope in time will be created for the online service and so be rich online content.

We look forward to launching this in the new year so watch this space and let us know what you think.