The Open Data Institute

The Challenge

Replace the ODI’s website with a modern, engaging and easy-to-use portal to help businesses and government harness the power of data in their decision-making.

Founded by web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee and AI expert Sir Nigel Shadbolt, the ODI is a non-profit organisation that works with businesses and governments to help them use data to make ever-better decisions.

A core part of its work involves publishing reports, guides, opinion articles and other content. Its website is its primary channel for distributing this to its users, who range from expert data scientists to those new to open data.

Having outgrown its old website, the ODI wanted a new platform that made it quicker and easier to publish, manage and showcase richer, more inspiring content. It also needed to make it easier for visitors to explore and engage with the ODI’s offerings.

Our Solution

We ran a discovery phase to scope out the project, then designed, delivered and launched the new website on schedule.

We started with a discovery phase, to understand the users and help shape a service that would meet their needs. Our user research enabled us to scope out what the site needed to be capable of to deliver maximum value within the tight budget.

We then designed and built the new site, focusing on ease of content publishing, management and discovery. This included a comprehensive tagging system that surfaces content in all the right places for someone browsing the site.

We also implemented the means to easily publish rich media content, to provide an inspiring and engaging reading experience. And to cater for the diverse user base, we designed key pages to deliver tiered content, starting with a high-level summary, followed by options to delve deeper.

The Result

Traffic to the site’s strategically important pages has increased, while the streamlined publishing process means the ODI can push out richer, more engaging content in less than a quarter of the time.

We successfully launched the new website, which has had an immediate impact. Content on the site is easier to explore and understand, resulting in an increase in the average number of pages users visit. Total traffic has increased 11.5% and the number of people finding the commercially important ‘Products and services’ page is up 23%.

The streamlined publishing process means it’s four times faster to get new content online, meaning the production team can process significantly more material, and get new content on the site more quickly. Meanwhile, the simplicity of the new publishing tools means more people are able to publish their own material, where this previously relied on the main production team.

Hannah Foulds, Head of Marketing and Membership at the ODI, says: “Throughout the project, we felt we were in really safe hands and that Softwire had our best interests at heart. They would challenge us at the right moments to ensure we were always getting the best value for money, which was incredibly important, given our budget.

“We’re delighted with the results Softwire produced. I’d be really eager to work with them again, because the whole experience was such a pleasure.”

Client
Open Data Institute

Technologies
WordPress, HTML, Javascript, CSS

The Project
Scope out, design and deliver an engaging and easy-to-manage website for the ODI.

The Results
The striking new website has been a hit with users, with traffic volumes up, particularly to the strategically important pages.

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