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Building a brief for a new Wired Sussex website

Last October we announced plans to rebuild our entire website from the ground up.

To help make sure we get it right, we felt is was important to invest time in engaging with our members in order to develop the best possible brief we can for the new site, one that reflects not only our own needs, but those of the community we support.

Following our announcement, we received lots of enthusiasm and support from our members, with many pledging their expertise to the project. As well as the hundreds of responses to our surveys, we had many one-to-one meetings with members, who have offered their advice on the project, and conducted a workshop session to talk through ideas.

We asked our members at Say Digital to conduct detailed research and analysis into our existing website; looking at its performance over the past year, and assist us in evaluating user feedback.

I wanted to thank you all for your support and feedback, and share with you some of the things we have learnt so far.

So, what did we learn from all this?

  • a stronger focus should be placed on highlighting individual news items, events and blog posts, to emphasise what is going on in the Wired Sussex community.
  • the site should be modernised in both look and functionality to better reflect the digital community and enable users to make the most of the site.
  • a stronger emphasis should be placed on the website’s role as a gathering point and voice of the local digital community.
  • more should be done to showcase the wealth of activities and projects that fall under the Wired Sussex umbrella, which member companies can engage with and benefit from.

Findings from the Survey:

In the period the survey was conducted (12.10.2015 – 27.11.2015) the website was accessed via devices as laid out below:

  • 64,921 sessions were carried out via desktop
  • 21,535 sessions were carried out via mobile
  • 5,785 sessions were carried out via tablet

The user demographics were as follows:



Content: The website was perceived as a valuable and extremely trustworthy resource, with more than 75% of participants scoring it a 4 or 5 rating in terms of trustworthiness. However, it was noted that more could be done to improve the website and make it a more valuable resource for users in their day-to-day work.

In the general online survey users were asked to rate a series of statements on a scale from 1-5 [1 = strongly disagree | 5 = strongly agree]


User Experience: In general, the site was rated just above average in terms of ease of navigation, and although most of the users surveyed felt comfortable completing tasks and finding the information they were looking for, it’s clear there is a need for us to focus on improving the UX and develop a more intuitive IA and UI, which better reflects the industry at large.

Community: When asked how well the site represents and connects the Digital Community, participants  scored the site above average, but there’s room to improve, and a desire from members for the site to act more as the rallying point for the local digital community.

 ...You guys and gals know better than anyone what's going on around here. [...] Use your position as a gateway to promote (curate) more work from the local community and surface more member's voices. In short, take more ownership.”

Help finding talent: The Jobs Board and the support we offer scored highly amongst those surveyed and it accounted for a large proportion of the overall website traffic.

The Jobs Board search pages (/jobsearch.asp and jobs/search/all_jobs) received 17.7% of total pageviews, last November.

However, the extended survey highlighted an interest in Wired Sussex taking a more active role in the recruitment process; helping recruiters filter applications, advising on salary benchmarking and offering clear guidance on best practice.

Below are some of the suggestions raised in the survey and workshop sessions: 

  • A clearer distinction between the blog and news sections.
  • Topic related forums that allow for knowledge sharing and strengthen the overall sense of community.
  • Multiple views and filtering on Events, Jobs and Projects.
  • The ability to RSVP for events and apply for projects directly via the website
  • A personalised home page for members.
  • A simplified login system
  • Refined directory tagging, which would allow members to better describe their services.
  • Additional ways of advertising member services via the website
  • Showcase different members based on their interaction and contributions to the site, as a way to encourage members to be more active.
  • Demonstrate the connections between member companies, so a more comprehensive picture of the sector can be obtained.
  • Ability to temporarily suspend projects whilst enquiries are under review.
  • Members should apply for projects using their Wired Sussex profile, highlighting relevant items within their portfolio.
  • Filter projects based on target audience (freelancer/agency), but also size, budget and type.
  • Many participants were surprised to learn how many projects fall under the Wired Sussex umbrella, more should be done to showcase this.
  • Ensure job seekers are aware of advanced search filters.
  • Store search preferences for the jobs board.
  • Enable job applicants to apply via the site with a Wired Sussex profile.
  • Promote our CV bank to recruiters

Keep your comments coming

Thank you for all your comments - we value your feedback. Please do keep it coming. We want to maintain a dialogue to ensure that we make the new site the best possible resource we can, to support you and the community.

Got anything you’d like to add, or disagree with any of the above? Let us know your thoughts , as we’d love to hear from you.

About the author

Kieron Cropper

Hi, I'm Head of Member Services at Wired Sussex. I help our members get the most from their membership, whether that’s the benefits of joining or you’re an existing member in need of advice.

View more posts by Kieron