Client: IG Design Group PLC
Date: 2017 Onwards
Scope of Work: Web Design, WordPress Development, Content Production and Social Media Management
As one of the world’s largest manufacturers of gift wrap, Christmas crackers and greetings cards – as well as an extensive range of celebration, gifting and creative play products – Design Group is a diverse and global group of companies.
Operating across multiple regions, categories, seasons and brands, Design Group must be able to clearly and effectively communicate its investment proposition to shareholders.
In March 2017, Design Group approached Dreem with this very brief; to design, develop and maintain a website to meet the needs of shareholders who invest into IG Design Group Plc on the London Stock Exchange AIM market. The website was required to act as a solid foundation of information for investors, customers and prospective employees, as well as anybody else with an interest in Design Group’s global operations.
The challenge was to create a website which captured the true essence of Design Group – a creative and design-focused business – without diverting attention away from important investment information.
Shareholders use the Design Group website as a source of regulatory news, reports and presentations and other key shareholder resources. It was our task to blend the creativity Design Group is known for together with a platform which allows investors to find the information they require without friction, all the while telling the story of this diverse and ever-expanding group of companies.
As a public company with shares traded on the Stock Exchange, Design Group is required to publish reports, announcements and regulatory news to its website. With this in mind, it needed to be simple for those within the group to manage and update the site within moments of announcements being made to the market.
Dreem created a new website for Design Group which puts the investment proposition front and centre, with a design that stays true to the group’s creative heart throughout.
The new Design Group website acts as an investor hub, bringing regulatory news, financial reports and presentations, share price data and shareholder information together in one location. The website tells the story of the group and showcases the latest activities of each group company, giving investors a wider context within which to understand the investment proposition offered by Design Group.
How We Helped Design Group
As with all websites we create, an in-depth period of planning and research preceded any work commencing on the project. Understanding Design Group, the markets it operates in, the customers it serves and the shareholders to which the website must communicate with was vitally important.
Once a solid foundation of business and market knowledge was secured, we used this information to create a list of pages required on the site, complete with a defined purpose for each. Having determined the purpose of each page – and using insight from the previous Design Group website – user journeys were created to plot and understand how visitors typically behave.
From this, we were able to produce a content outline for the website, prioritising the information viewed most frequently by visitors.
With a site map, page purposes and user journeys defined, our content team began work on creating copy for the Design Group website.
Clearly and effectively communicating the investment proposition to Design Group shareholders was the guiding purpose of the site, with an emphasis on ensuring that key investment information was easy to locate, understand and act upon.
New original content was produced for each area of the website, with a consistent dialect and tone of voice unifying all aspects of Design Group’s online presence.
As well as producing written words, our content team edited through a library of thousands of product, team and location photographs, refining the expansive collection down to a small number of images which best displayed the diversity of the group’s employees, products and operations. This selected photography was then contextually matched with the newly-produced content, with complimentary copy and images paired to better illustrate the unique story of Design Group.
Once written copy had been approved, our designers started work on creating layouts for the Design Group website. By producing content before any designs are created, our work flow helps ensure that page layouts feel intentional and display important content in the most appropriate way.
From a design perspective, the biggest challenge involved in the project was finding a balance between practicality and creativity. Design Group is a creative business with design at its heart, but the shareholder-facing website was required to look, feel and function in such a way that made it easy for investors to locate the information they require. To find a design which stood up to both of these contrasting aims, multiple layout iterations were designed and tested in a prototyping environment, until a series of designs were agreed upon and refined.
Our commitment to accessibility further assisted with our vision of creating a truly intuitive website. During the design process, accessibility guidelines and best practises were followed throughout, resulting in a website accessible to as many people as possible.
With all websites we create, it is our aim to reach Level A of W3C’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0.
Once layouts were approved, the project was passed to our development team.
Development of the Design Group website was based upon WordPress, a flexible and easy-to-manage CMS (content management system). Building with WordPress allowed for the site to be quickly and easily updated by both Dreem and Design Group, meaning regulatory news, reports and presentations can be populated to the site at a moment’s notice, whenever required.
In line with the responsive layouts created during the design phase of the project, the website was developed to work seamlessly on all device types. From small mobile phones and tablet computers right through to large desktop screens, the Design Group website should function and feel exactly as visitors expect, regardless of the device they use.
With the aim of giving investors the most immersive experience possible, a live share price ticker was developed into the Design Group website. Integrated in collaboration with Brighter IR, the feed pulls data directly from the London Stock Exchange in almost real-time. Alongside live data, shareholders are able to analyse historical share price information on a dedicated page, helping to provide further context of the group’s recent performance and the wider investment proposition.
Before the website launched, a period of optimisation took place to ensure that the site was as efficient as possible. From minified source code through to appropriately compressed images, attention was paid to help the Design Group website load in a timely manner. Not only does this increased performance improve the experience for visitors, but it also plays its part in helping the website rank more favourably in organic search results on sites such as Google.
As well as hosting the website on our fast and secure UK-based servers, Dreem is now responsible for the management of website content, assisting Design Group with tasks such as uploading market announcements, updating shareholder information and creating and publishing news articles.
Moreover, a second phase of the Design Group website is currently in development, bringing with it additional pages and functionality. This new phase includes redesigned regulatory news and reports hubs, plus a video portal to bring all of Design Group’s shareholder-facing video content into one place.
The new Design Group website is a convenient hub of information and resources for shareholders.
Newly created website content helps guide visitors through the investment proposition of Design Group, while a carefully considered design helps blend the group’s creativity with the practicality investors expect. Developed following best practises, the website loads quickly, meets high accessibility standards and is protected with several layers of security.
Design Group is able to update the website when required, releasing important investment information and market announcements at a moment’s notice.
Built with flexibility in mind, the new website is able to evolve as the group does, helping to communicate with investors long into the future.
Dreem and Design Group’s relationship has grown significantly as the result of this successful project.
Dreem now manages all shareholder-facing social media accounts for Design Group, creating content, monitoring interactions and helping to build a unified online presence. As part of this brief, we are helping to develop an updated version of the group’s brand and communication guidelines, to give consideration to social media platforms where Design Group has a presence.
This theme of helping to unify the group’s online presence can also be found in the recently awarded website projects we are developing for group companies. For both Design Group UK and Design Group Australia, Dreem is building websites which follow the brand guidelines and design conventions established on the shareholder-facing site. The aim of these new websites is to help the group and its companies appear and communicate in a consistent way online.
As the scope of our relationship continues to expand, we look forward to the challenge of helping Design Group further improve its presence, appearance and communications online.