The OPEN Youth Trust is a Norfolk-based charity focused on making a positive difference to the lives of young people.
Established in 2005, OPEN’s work relies upon grant funding and charitable donations from trusts, companies and private individuals. Their Norwich city headquarters comprises a multi-purpose state-of-the-art performance space providing live music and entertainment and they also help fund their activities by hiring out the venue for meetings, conferences and other events. Among the myriad of additional services OPEN offers are community workshops, discovery and activity days, employability and life skill sessions, and even a café and a climbing wall! OPEN also runs an SOS bus on Friday and Saturday nights which delivers immediate assistance to anyone at risk in the city centre.
OPEN is a fantastic charity we wholeheartedly support, and when they asked us to design and build an exciting new website we were delighted to get involved.
We’d previously worked with OPEN when they utilised our email marketing service, Smart Messenger, and when they asked for help with their old website it quickly became obvious that they had two major problems. Firstly, the website was badly organised, and important information was either not listed at all or hidden away in the small print. Not only was navigation an issue but the content was also uninspiring, it was slow to respond, and as a marketing and information tool the site wasn’t doing them justice. Secondly, they were hosting the website on their own internal server, and the server kept failing. Whenever they had technical issues, it could take a long time to get them resolved.
In short, they needed a completely new website and a much more reliable hosting strategy.
We built OPEN a completely redesigned new website, making everything more structured and logical while staying faithful to OPEN’s branding and colour palette. We boosted the content to make it more engaging, which not only means that users can find what they’re looking for much faster, it also encourages greater cross-promotion as everything is more coherent and landing on one page flows more naturally into the pages around it. We also improved response times so the website loads much faster. Just as importantly, the new website is far simpler to maintain – there’s a lot happening at OPEN so we ensured that the site can be updated quickly and easily with the minimum of fuss.
Finally, we offered to host the new site in-house so that OPEN won’t experience any more technical difficulties and, if there’s ever a problem, we can deal with it straightaway.
101’s new website has already made a major impact on the numbers of people enquiring about our services. It’s bright and friendly, the content looks great, and because it’s so easy to manage and update we’re not tied up for hours if we want to make changes. It also represents what we do in the very best way possible – with excitement, clarity and energy.