Bierton and Chilterns Crematoria

Working with Buckinghamshire Council digital team, we combined Bierton and Chilterns Crematorium websites into one, accessible platform. We managed to make significant savings on web hosting and on ongoing maintenance. Our team also provided training for staff members.
Bierton and Chiltern Crematorium Website mock up on laptop

The Client

We have supplied Buckinghamshire Council with microsites since 2015. Their Digital Team approached us with a new challenge in March 2023.

Their three websites Bierton and Chilterns crematoria and South Bucks Golf Course were not accessible, hosted on a platform that was expensive and difficult for the internal team to manage. We were approached to update and build new websites on a new platform.

Kayley with Buckinghamshire Council digital team in framework digital office
Kayley with Buckinghamshire Council team - handover training

Buckinghamshire Council also required us to combine both Bierton and Chilterns websites into one. This approach would save costs, administration and offer residents one central place to go. Planning the merge was where our UX (user experience) designer, Shah, would excel with her research and work.

During this Crematoria project, we were working with the council’s Digital Team and the Business Unit (who represent the crematoria and the golf course).

The Brief

The Digital Team required an inviting, easy-to-navigate website, for both Bierton and Chiltern crematoria. The existing websites were out of date and difficult to manage. They were not visually inviting to stay, with a lot of information scattered on pages without hierarchy in the navigation. This was also the case for the South Bucks Golf website.

None of the three website designs matched the commercial standards for their respective industries, often losing the chance in the competitive market.

For the new crematoria website, we needed to update the:

  • Navigation – the navigation needed to be clear and easy to use. The two crematoriums shared pages with each other, meaning the website and the administration area needed to be clear to avoid confusion.
  • Accessibility – The website needed to be updated to Buckinghamshire council accessibility standards. This would enable the website to be accessible for all
  • Design – The council had completed extensive User Experience (UX) research. The research would influence design decisions from colour choices to placements of functionality.
  • Administration – We would need to provide an administration area with logins. This would enable the client to keep the website updated. We were required to use an open-source WordPress CMS (content management system) for these websites.

An additional website design service was providing website hosting contract and website support.

The Solution

The solution was to plan, design and deliver an accessible, informative, easy to navigate website that would compete with others. User-centred design and web technology that will last influenced our choices.

Each crematorium site had its own website. That solution was not time and money efficient. On the new, combined website, each crematorium needed to have their own identity and seem separate, even though they were on the same URL.

We designed a splash screen for the new domain. On the new page, users chose the crematorium they wanted to go to. We ensured the old domain names and URLs (web page links) continued working after the new website went live.

We designed unique page elements with different colours, and we built two sets of navigation to differentiate between the two crematoriums. It was a challenge to make a complicated backend navigation appear simple and user friendly on the front end. This was achieved using custom built WordPress themes and advanced web design skills (well done Kayley) and user interface planning (thanks Shah).

We tested the website with visitors and with administrators. We offered comprehensive training to administrators – enabling admins to update the website whenever required.

We utilised the Digital Team’s extensive user research they gathered and shared with us. This helped our team with the design and navigation of the site. For example, on the old site, users were using the search function to look for loved ones’ names. The search function was for looking for pages on the website, not for this use. We ensured that services for loved ones on the new website were appropriately signposted and users are directed where they needed to go without searching for it.

Due to the project having two teams of clients involved, we set weekly meetings to debrief all parties on progress. To ensure a smooth outcome, all parties were informed and invited to collaborate.

The Outcome

To come up with the best results, we needed to be focused and adaptive. We made design decisions to meet all parties’ requirements, including website visitors and stake holders. Mike used his project management skills to oversee the project planning and overlooked the delivery. He helped deliver this complex project before the end of 2023.

I’m so pleased what the team at Framework Digital have managed to do with our website.
We have already had many positive responses to the new website.

Stephanie Young – Business Development at Buckinghamshire Council

The crematoriums and website redesign included:

  • UX (user experience) led navigation and design
  • Accessible design meeting WCAG 2 requirements
  • User centred design
  • Customised WordPress
  • Managing domain redirections
  • News and Events feature
  • Seasonal, scheduled pop-up banner
  • Project management
  • Training sessions for admins and editors
  • Secure hosting solution for 3 websites and
  • Post-launch support contract.

Click here to view the new Bierton and Chilterns Crematorium website.

Here are some images of the website, depicting how we incorporated all elements of the brief into the successful crematorium website.

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Call 01296 320820 – 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday

mike's portrait photo

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