The discovery phase
The project began with a bespoke discovery phase, giving United Welsh the opportunity to fully identify what they needed to achieve from their new website. Tenant workshops helped to give Spindogs insight into the core audience and understand what they too – most importantly – needed from the new website. Of utmost priority for both United Welsh and its tenants was flexibility alongside increased efficiency.
Tapping into the audience allowed us to focus on what tenants expected from a digital service. These expectations included an easy way to pay rent, report maintenance issues, and ways to find affordable homes. The Spindogs team added functions to the website including ways to add flexible content, bilingual support and a dedicated online system for tenants to report problems or pay rent.
Prior to engaging with Spindogs, United Welsh were at the mercy of a site that could only be managed by the internal IT team who had the technical knowledge. As a result, the marketing team had to go through IT to get anything updated, so there were delays and struggles when updating content and posting news stories, which would quickly become outdated. Spindogs quickly identified that WordPress would be the best CMS to allow for flexibility of content, specifically a flex page builder. This makes adding flexible content to a website a lot easier. The flex blocks Spindogs designed means the site is manageable by more people without relying on other departments, allowing for more reactive and agile content, meaning content is also more up to date.
A requirement for United Welsh was a responsive website that could be easily accessed across mobile and tablets. They also wanted the website to be flexible, easy to navigate and provide information to users quickly and easily no matter what device users access this from. We supported this requirement by signposting towards a ‘Ways to pay your rent’ page. This advised tenants on which methods they could use to pay rent – ‘Direct Debit’, ‘Tenant App’, ‘Online’ and ‘Paypal’ all being mentioned. Through Spindogs’ support, the internal teams are now able to update pages like this, they can add relevant site content whenever they need to without relying on other teams.
Bilingual support for English and Welsh speaking tenants
A bilingual offering was essential for tenants and applicants, so Spindogs built a dedicated, dual-language postcode search function that could be easily updated by staff across the organisation. Tenants and applicants can type a postcode into the search bar to find details of Neighbourhood Officer, Rent Officer and Local Authority services, further helping to better react to the changing needs of tenants. Welsh-speaking users can easily change the website’s language with the click of a button as part of the dual-language website.
A space for tenants to report issues
A ‘Tenant Zone’ button stands out in the top right-hand corner of the website, created by Spindogs using bespoke modules and a custom form builder. This is a clear area for tenants or applicants to use to deal with any housing related issues, including reporting repairs such as a gas leak or broken white goods. Having a dedicated online system means that applicants and tenants know exactly where to go to deal with their tenancy issues, meaning they will ultimately be fixed sooner, further improving the customer experience.
United Welsh was so happy with the expertise Spindogs provided and the work we did for them that they asked us to take on another project.
Spindogs was asked to replicate the work we carried out for another one of their brands, Harmoni Homes.