UX design and digital strategy for one of the UK's leading construction businesses.

We recently launched the new website for Willmott Dixon. It's a bold, responsive design that's a huge step forward in usability, UX design and brand positioning for this UK success story.

Willmott Dixon has been a family business since 1852. Their reputation in the UK construction sector, and in the wider business community is the envy of many. Their work reaches far and wide into society – from schools, to homes, to leisure and health facilities – 90% of the population is never more than a mile from one of their projects.

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Standing out in the sector and becoming a leader in digital communications

In common with a surprisingly high number of large businesses, Willmott Dixon's old website had been outpaced by the digital habits and expectations of site users. They had some great content but visitors would struggle to find it, particularly if using a mobile device. In short, their reputation was not being upheld online.

Discover, define, develop, deliver

We were appointed to discover what the business needed to become online, develop a digital strategy that would catapult them ahead of their peers, and reposition the brand in the digital realm.

As with most of our work, we applied the 'double diamond' service design process. After several months of close collaboration we launched a bold new website that is unlike anything else in the UK construction sector.

User centred design thinking

There is a paradox that exists in the construction sector. From architects, to engineers, product manufacturers to contractors, the construction sector revolves around usability – but seems to ignore human factors when it comes to digital communication.

For instance, during our research in the discovery phase, we found that only 7 of the Top 100 UK Construction Companies have a mobile optimised website. This, at a time when nearly 80% of adults in the UK have a smartphone (Ofcom) and 45% of active candidates have applied for a job via mobile device (LinkedIn).

Thanks to the bravery of our client Andrew Geldard, and the support of the Willmott Dixon leadership, the business recognised the opportunity that this presented and embraced the chance to aim high.

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The challenge

During the discovery phase it became clear that the major challenge for the business lay in the area of content. While they had some great content, sometimes buried deep inside the business, they weren't able to clearly and succinctly communicate what they did.

A business of their status and reputation has much to be proud of and deserves to be seen as an exemplar in their field. Organising content into a logical, intuitive and findable hierarchy then became key to how we enhanced their brand online.

The solution

We were determined to simplify the site structure as much as possible to create quick user journeys for different site visitors. We also introduced tagging of all content types enabling users a very fluid yet easily navigable way to assemble the content they are interested in on the fly.

We have maximised the use of Willmott Dixon's extensive image library and provided a home for their hugely popular web cams that let visitors see live progress from around 20 sites.


Our team can help you plan the digital future of your business. If you'd like to discuss why this matters please contact us for an exploratory chat.

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