Need a website up fast?

In the early days of New Zealand’s Level 4 lockdown, Enlighten Designs partnered with Waikato’s regional economic development agency Te Waka, to build a web presence to support Hamilton businesses affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
Funded by Hamilton City Council, the phone-based support centre and microsite is targeted at small to medium sized firms.

As Te Waka CEO Michael Bassett-Foss noted “The economic situation is changing rapidly. It’s been important these past few weeks to act decisively, move quickly and set up the Waikato Business Support initiative as soon as possible.”

Act decisively they did, approaching Enlighten Designs late on Friday afternoon, just one week into Level 4, with a desire to support businesses struggling with the effects of the lockdown.

Due to the nature of its business, Enlighten suffered few ill effects from shifting to remote working but as a human-centred design and technical agency, we were well aware of the struggle of clients and local businesses to pivot as easily.

A team of seven took on the challenge to build an online presence for Waikato Business Support using Umbraco, a free and open source platform.

Delivery Team Leader Jordan McFarlane noted Umbraco is “extremely rapid to stand up, and quick to customise. Usability is fantastic.”

“Normally for a site of this size it would be maybe a 3 – 6 week process as wireframing, design, development, testing, training, and content entry are all carried out in serial, commonly with customer approval gates in between.”

In this case, the client and Enlighten agreed to sidestep most of the approvals and instead worked in parallel on tasks to pull everything together in four short days.

When asked about design inspiration, Digital Designer Bruno Mendes said “For an informative website, the creative decision is around the content: how to clearly present news, webinars, and resources so the user can easily find them.”

“With a short deadline, you need to choose a clever approach using familiar UI elements and to be aware of the effort on implementation for the development team without giving up the aesthetics.”

Whilst it was definitely frantic and all agreed they would have liked more time (as perfectionists do), thanks to the collaborative aspects of Microsoft Teams, the dedication of the Enlighten team and advanced agreement from Te Waka to make approvals at light speed, the website was officially launched to the public on Wednesday 15th April.

Businesses can call Waikato Business Support for help on 07 929 4673 WBZ HOPE or visit the website to register for a call back.

Need to start selling online quickly? Contact us today and take advantage of our expertise.
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