Packed full of content including videos, articles, press releases and podcasts, the new B4 website is a fantastic resource for all businesses….but, that’s just the beginning.
As our new network of Hubs begins to generate collaborative content, in the form of webinars and articles, the site will become an increasingly referenced website for the business community.
Huge credit to the B4 team with Lorna on the overall build, Keith on design and Rob focusing on UX. They’ve worked incredibly well, remotely, on all aspects of the site and they should take immense pride in what they have created. Here’s what Lorna, Keith and Rob had to say about the experience.
“This has been a long time coming, hasn’t it? We’ve been discussing internally and with developers for the past 3 years about the improvements needed on the B4 site, such as poor speeds and user interface, but it was only until lockdown 2020 that we finally said ‘Now’s the time’. We were re-thinking everything else about what B4 is, so why not take this opportunity to present a brand new website as well? Me and Keith knew what key changes were needed, and we brainstormed internally and with B4 Members to develop a ‘wishlist’ of other features and improvements for the site. Rob was key in helping us with UX trials and feedback, to make sure the new site was a much more enjoyable experience for all.
“The total development time was about 3 months – longer than I had hoped, but much faster than the build time for the old website – and we certainly learned a lot during that time! Richard had to put up with me complaining on numerous occasions about how something ‘just wasn’t working’, until it would finally click after a good night’s rest. There’s little more satisfying to me than that sudden ‘Eureka!’ moment when you figure out the solution to a problem.
“We still have a longer wishlist of new features we want to add to the site, but we can’t keep it in development forever so we’ll be rolling out more features over the next 6-12 months. We hope you all enjoy exploring the new site. Don’t tell me if you find any bugs (no, do, please).”
– Lorna Waterfield
“I still remember saying ‘we can build this ourselves’ and maybe we just didn’t have the confidence to rely on our skills rather than an external developer. But after many discussions and with the advent of COVID and a completely new working mindset, we just said ‘let’s do it, we have time now’.
“Myself, Lorna and Rob have our different skill sets. I focus on ‘making things look great’, Lorna loves ‘doing the hard stuff’, (don’t tell her I said that!) and Rob was determined to get some valuable UX/UI user feedback to keep the project going in the correct direction.
“The build has been enjoyable and trying in equal measure, with much hair pulled out on certain days. But we can be proud of what we have made, it’s light years beyond what we had (I’m sure everyone will agree) and we have learned valuable skills along the way. Hopefully for our members and users, the site will be a pleasurable experience. We hope it will encourage everyone to use the site to spread you news and views.
“Look out for more developments coming soon. Enjoy the site!”
– Keith Simpson
“I’m fairly new to UX but used lockdown to acquaint myself with the key aspects….but for those that know anything about UX, it’s a huge, ever changing area and certainly something I wouldn’t be able to master in a few weeks. However, speaking to B4 members about what was important to them in our site was a great experience and helped me to inform Lorna and Keith on the build and design.
“As a team we have really enjoyed working together and have definitely taken the B4 site to a new level….as Keith said, we hope you enjoy using it and thank you to everyone who helped me understand what we needed to do to help you.”
– Rob Scotcher
Key features of the new site include:
Improvements to Company and Personal Profiles:
More key contact information combined with a Google Map to highlight business location, promo video, your NEXUS partner’s logo displayed and up to 8 staff profiles depending on membership
Improvements to Search & Filter:
Searching and filtering is now much simpler, just click the magnifying glass and you can narrow down your results to exactly what you want to find – Member profiles, Articles, Events, Press releases etc. by Region & Sector.
More dynamic article layouts:
More pictures can be included, with more variety to layouts giving an enhanced digital magazine feel to your feature.
Member & Person highlights on content:
All content (except B4’s own) now features a member snippet and profile photo, bringing more personality to the site. Even videos & podcasts which you’ve starred in will appear on your profile.
The old site definitely had some issues here! You’ll be delighted with our new mobile site.
Sleek and clean:
We’ve eliminated a lot of clutter from the site, so we hope you will find it a much more pleasant experience to navigate.
The big one! The new site is 10x faster than the old one.
Views on content:
All member content now tracks hits, so you can see how many people have read your content (just B4 website hits – LinkedIn / other social media platforms are counted in addition)
Visual events calendar:
You can now see all upcoming B4 Events in a monthly calendar view.
Get more involved with your fellow members’ content by leaving comments on their content!
See & Be Seen with more frequency via a new “similar content” section on all Articles & Press Releases. The more content you create, the higher chance you have to appear in more locations on the website.
You can click a button on press releases & articles to save them as a clean PDF for your records or to promote on your website and social media platforms.
Press Release edit function…:
The finale! I know some of our members will definitely be happy to hear this….you can now edit your own press releases after they’ve been published!
Enjoy and do feedback so we can factor your ideas into future development.