Delivering the digital vision for a premium housebuilder
We helped to design and develop a new customer-facing website for one of the UK's largest housing associations.
Abri Group was formed in October 2020 following a merger between the Radian Group and the Yarlington Housing Group, making them one of the largest housing associations in the South of England.
Abri predominantly build affordable housing, helping people take their first steps on the property ladder and assisting those with low incomes who would not ordinarily be able to afford to buy property. Abri do more than provide homes, tackling poverty and inequality by helping with employment, providing training, and budgeting advice to those in need.
Abri were looking to build a new customer-facing website, following the merger, showcasing a unified brand as both a home builder and housing association.
This new website would be targeted specifically at first-time buyers and people requiring shared ownership schemes to be able to afford to buy a house.
Abri was looking for an agency to help with the UX and design for a new website, supporting the work of their own internal developers and approached Reading Room in late 2020, having been impressed by the work we had done with Countryside Properties.
We chose Reading Room as a partner because of the team's approach to design and their experience in the housebuilding sector. We were extremely impressed by their work for Countryside Properties, and as an Umbraco partner, they are a great fit for us.
After initial conversations, it was clear that we could offer more than simply UX and design – agreeing to do front-end development work as well.
The project began with a series of remote discovery sessions, involving Tim Banks, Head of UX along with our design team, discussing key aspects of functionality, the goals and metrics for the new site, and what this new website would look like. This even led to everyone making different sketches of what this might look like – a process that allowed our internal teams to get a complete picture of what Abri expected.
The nature of the project meant that it necessitated close collaboration between our UX, Design, and Front-end development teams and the Abri developers. To facilitate this, we had frequent communication – different calls to discuss designs, and how to marry the different development perspectives. This method led to a modular approach where different components were worked on by different teams individually and then brought together, with different approaches feeding into each other and overlapping – a careful balancing act requiring constant communication to make sure that everyone was happy at every point with how these elements came together.
The approach to designing this site empowered each individual team to have the freedom to work on the key elements that suited their individual strengths.
The well-orchestrated overlap between these teams meant that we were able to deliver the completion of this project on a tight timescale. Throughout the process, continuous communication and feedback meant that many of the elements were delivered expediently, meeting the client’s demands first-time with little back and forth and iteration.
With this project delivered successfully, and the new website completed, we hope to be able to continue to work with Abri Group on future projects, deepening our relationship and continuing to develop the group’s digital estate.
This was a truly exciting project to work on – at every point, we felt we understood exactly what the client wanted, enabling us to deliver something that everyone – internally and externally – was satisfied with. It was a real pleasure working with Abri Group