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Giants Causeway

Heritage Lottery Fund

Showcasing the impact and value of the Heritage Lottery Fund to a wider audience

The Client

Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund gives grants to sustain and transform a wide range of heritage across the UK. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, they invest in every part of our diverse heritage, making a lasting difference for heritage and people.

The Challenge

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) wanted to develop their website to coincide with the launch of new funding programmes and as part of a new corporate strategy and wider business transformation programme.

Historically the website was designed as significantly weighted towards their grant giving function and servicing the user personas related to this. Moving forward although this user group was still key, the website also needed to cater for additional user groups with the aim of advocating and promoting the National Lottery brand and HLF’s place and achievements within this.

As part of the need to continue to cater for the users of the grant applications process, they wanted to create and foster an online community within the site. The aim was to develop a space offering ‘digital first’ customer service, advice and sharing of best practices.

To help the website perform for all user groups the Information Architecture and search functionality needed to be refined so that visitors could quickly find the most relevant areas of the site based on their needs.

The ultimate aim was to ensure the website still catered to the key user group, whilst also showcasing the impact and experience of HLF to a wider audience.

Desktop, Macbook, tablet and iPhone showing pages from Heritage Lottery Fund's website

The Solution

As the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) were looking to expand their user base, it was key to clarify these new user groups within personas and clarify the relevance of the site content to their needs. User research and testing was completed on both the new and current personas, so that we were able to create user journeys to shape the website development.

From the user testing, it was clear that the Information Architecture was targeted towards the application process. Our team worked with HLF to simplify their site and menu structure ensuring each user journey was clearly defined.

As part of this work, we moved all the application content into two distinct areas. The ‘funding’ area was provided to give clear guidance on the applications process and the ‘help & resources’ area was created to assist funding applications. This section of the site included the application portal, ‘good practice guides’, funding decisions and research. Our team also developed an ‘advice hub’, offering ‘digital first’ customer service, advice and sharing of best practices.

To engage the new user groups, the ability to browse local heritage projects and events was essential. A new ‘In your area’ section of the site was created so that visitors could discover more about the projects in their area funded by lottery money. They could also drill down into events to attend and places to visit and enjoy. Our team improved the search functionality across the site to allow visitors to find content more quickly and easily.

For all users the content needed to be impactful, relevant and easy to digest. We designed the website using large eye-catching imagery to engage visitors and utilised high-level sound bites relating to HLF achievements (such as the amount of funds invested in heritage) on the homepage. Throughout the site, we restructured text to increase readability levels and added high quality imagery to engage and delight.

The successful website development meant that the site both continued to cater to and support funding applications whilst also showcasing the impact and value of HLF to a brand-new audience.

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