Poole Harbour Commission (PHC) is responsible for ensuring that Poole Harbour is sustainable long term and that the interests of the port and its stakeholders are met. The harbour is one of Europe’s largest and busiest ports, making the Commissioners job vital in maintaining its day-to-day operation.
PHC underwent an internal restructure and required a revamp of their website, giving it a fresh and modern feel. With the promise of re-organising and modernising the website, edirect won the tender to go ahead with the project. The aim was to revitalise the site so that it met user need and was simple to navigate around.
Given that there were different groups of people that accessed the site for specific requirements, it was vital that the user journey was smooth. The three distinct services that needed to be focused on were commercial port activities, pleasure port users and environmental. All subsections including information, tools and transactional elements needed to be created independently while still seamlessly coming together on the site.
PHC also tasked edirect with transforming their database system. The one they had in place lacked organisation, therefore it was important to create a platform that could capture and record payment and permit information.
Like any project of this nature, there are obstacles that crop up during the process. In this instance, edirect had to ensure that users looking for a specific service could easily navigate their way through the pages to get the information they need. It was important to make sure that users interested in reading pleasure craft information were not directed to sections relating to the port and vice versa.
Given that some information was due to feature in multiple sections on the site, it was important that the site flowed from one section to the next.
Firstly, to combat these challenges, our team at edirect wire framed the user journey for each section during the design phase, leading to our graphic design team creating the main pages for each service. The same look was used for each section, but the separate services still retained some individuality with regards to the design.
In order to avoid users being taken to sections of the website that did not cater to their interest, we implemented SEO techniques within the site design. As a result, users were directed to specific sections during their search. For example, an individual searching for harbour permit payments would be taken to the relevant page.
Our team at edirect built a custom platform designed to grab all permit and payment information. The platform automatically connects to WordPress forms, but can be manually added and accessed anywhere by entering login details. We ensured that the system was easy to use and would accept any future amendments or additions.
On top of that, we incorporated tools that displayed and automatically updated weather and tidal information, with all interested users having access to them.