The OTC Space is a very popular blog-like site, designed to display numerous types of content from financial news to job offers to event information in an easily readable and accessible format. It is widely read by many in the financial sector and is written by experts in order to make sure it is well researched, up to date content that keeps users informed.

The Challenge

The brief we received was simple- keep the existing content, change everything else. Both visually and technically, they would be very dissimilar. OTC wanted to generate more traffic to their site which would keep coming back, and felt a complete redesign would be the best way to do this. We needed to keep the design interesting as the OTC Space isn’t just an informative company, it’s also a fun one.

The Objectives

We planned to display articles on a singular homepage in responsive blocks using Masonry JS. These blocks would flow and create a ‘wall of articles’ on the site, filling in gaps depending on what had been uploaded. We also planned on setting a certain category (eg. Events, job offers) a certain colour, to make the experience of finding what you’re looking for easier and faster. We also planned to make article images larger to create a more visual experience and engage readers more.

The Team

Rob Lead Developer

James Project Manager

Andrew Design

Dave Quality Assurance

What We Did

Information Architecture

The project facilitator, Northern Comfort, handled the architecture and design phase leaving Indiespring to take care of the build. This enabled Northern Comfort to figure out the design of the site – how the new layout could incorporate user behaviour and emphasise certain features- ie. The blog- to draw users to it. This chart was passed on to the designers to see what they could dream up.

Building A Bespoke Drupal Theme

Miquel worked to take the project wireframes and designs from Northern Comfort and built a completely custom and bespoke Drupal template to their specification.

Development Process

The project was completed in Drupal 7 to the designs provided by Northern Comfort. Our Quality Assurance team then completely tested the website on a range of browsers and devices.

Registered users can save their favourite articles or clear old ones off their homepage entirely.

User login grant additional access to controls such as RSS feed following and premium articles.

Multiple filter options allows users to customise their homepage in just a couple of clicks.

Infinite scroll combined with mosaic blocks means the site continues to load more articles the further you scroll.

What we delivered

The new OTC Space site is a very responsive, very modern blog site that encourages users to read the articles with a user experience that is dedicated to being easy to navigate through its use of bright colours and large pictures. This also subtly reflects the fun loving side of the staff at OTC.

The front and back end are completely new and bespoke to OTC and were built using Drupal and Masonry JS. The singular homepage means that focus is entirely dedicated to reading blog articles, and the different colours of each category of post means users can easily find what they’re looking for.

  • Built using Drupal 7 and Masonry JS
  • Very visually engaging site
  • Responsive article blocks that create a wall
  • Close relationship with OTC
  • Bespoke designs incorporating customer’s needs
  • Completely new functionality

Results

Since OTC’s new site went live, there has been over 300,000 new sessions and 165,000 visitors to the site. More than 3000 people have signed up to the OTC space. The usability of the site has improved which encourages users to return, as shown by 47% of visitors to the site being returning users. Indiespring now have a strong working relationship with OTC and have worked with them on later projects including the OTC App.

“Building a website with custom functionality needs careful consideration and thorough testing. Indiespring and ourselves worked together to get our website right, which in some cases wasn’t simple. The team at Indiespring have shown care and commitment to solving some dire technical problems, including responding to desperate texts from the top of a hill in the Pennines to get the server going again. Our site used some complex technology which the guys at Indiespring have mastery of, if you need something simple or something complex, they can help.”

Bill Hodgson, OTC

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