We have a varied portfolio of web-based projects - working with people such as the NHS, Sustrans, The Multiple Sclerosis Society of Ireland and Bristol City Council. Take a look at some of our featured projects below.
1 Big Database - Family Information Directory
Since 2004 we've been part of the 1 Big Database group - working alongside Bristol City Council, South Gloucestershire Council and Bath and North East Somerset Council.
It's a successful example of three local authorities joining forces to provide a relevant, up to date - and crucially local - directory of family information in the West of England, with an events diary that lists hundreds of one off or regular activities taking place in the region.
The partnership project has helped the councils save money and resource whilst maintaining control of the directory and keeping data within it in their hands. In 2010, 1 Big Database was noted by the Department of Schools, Children and Families as 'best practice'.
We've launched a new version of the framework behind 1 Big Database - key here is a new dedicated section for managing and publishing Childcare data - already hooked up for automatic integration with Capita's ECD management software.
Last year saw new developments including a 'draw a map' search facility and an enhanced events calendar, plus portal sites dedicated to parenting, and families with disabled children.
"We have been working with Focus for many years now and the team always provide us with a creative, responsive and incredibly competent service. The Focus team are flexible, informed and a pleasure to work with."
Jackie Fielder, Family Information Service Manager
Bath and North East Somerset Council.
Our technology has fundamentally changed how utilities giant Scottish and Southern Energy interact with their customers.
We're helping to replace paper based communication between SSE and their customers - with email and strategic use of microsites. Welcome letters and packs, as well as account status updates for new customers, are now all processed through our bespoke emailing application, written specifically for SSE. Customers are directed towards web sites to download documentation rather than receiving them through the post - with fallback mechanisms in place where emails fail to get through.
SSE have saved thousands of pounds in production, personalisation and postage of paper documents and customers benefit by receiving communications instantly and in a more environmentally friendly manner.
This is an ongoing project - 2013 will see us rollout additional digital fulfilment software - specifically designed to help guide new customers through the transfer of their power and gas accounts to SSE.
Bristol Balloons - eCommerce and promotional site
It wasn't just the front end that required an update; we worked long and hard developing a back-end system which has proved to be much more flexible and productive for the team at Bristol Balloons. The new admin system manages all the content management, orders and product information for Bristol Balloons, Bath Balloons and Ballooning Network.
The design is centred around striking images that really sell the experience of a balloon flight to users. The new clearer language, easy to use navigation and 'call to action' buttons have had a real positive effect on the conversion rates of the site.
We also ensured that the new checkout process follows best practice techniques in order to reduce the number of drop-offs and ensure purchases can be completed both quickly and easily.
Since the site has been live we've already seen a reduction in both Exit and Bounce rates, which is extremely encouraging.
The Multiple Sclerosis Society of Ireland - Charity website
We've been working with MS Ireland since 2007 - not only helping to create their main Society website, but several dedicated campaign microsites too - including Read-a-Thon and McVities Tea Party. So we were excited to work with the Comms team on the structure and design of their brand new site in 2012.
A key objective was to help create a community who could interact with the site and each other through it - providing users and viewers the opportunity to contribute, comment and collaborate on news and views surrounding Multiple Sclerosis.
The site also includes national and regional blogs updated by geographical editors, five separate blogs with editorial content from the different teams at MSI and user polls - helping get real feedback on important issues from real users.
"We are thoroughly delighted with our new website. We wanted something brighter, more modern and interactive and which reflected the care and support our organisation provides to people with MS. Focus were wonderful throughout the project, listening to our needs and building on those to give us exactly what we wanted."
Taragh Donohoe Communications Manager
Barriers Direct - eCommerce store
Over the last five years, we've helped Barriers Direct grow into one of the UK's leading suppliers of barriers, bollards, street furniture and safety products.
We've created an extensive eCommerce store with thousands of products and implemented lots of bespoke functionality including user accounts, discount schemes and feeds to external shopping sites. This gives our client exactly what they need - lots of control and easily editable product information.
We've also created a sub brand called 'Trade Store', which though is part of the Barriers Direct family, it also has a sense of being its own entity. The technical demands of the project were high - grouping all the many products into easy to navigate categories was a great challenge, not to mention combining it all into one easily-navigable CMS system.
Recently we've implemented a more isolated checkout process, to help reduce basket exit rates and improve successful checkout completions. Back-end, we've developed an extensive reporting module, financial management tools and an end-to-end messaging/ticketing function. We also manage on-going email and social media campaigns and the site is continually evaluated with user and A/B testing, plus detailed reviews of its analytics.
The West of England Centre for Inclusive Living (WECIL)
Having had a recent rebrand, WECIL needed to reflect this in their website. We needed to apply this to not only bring it up to date visually, but also bring it more in line with the organisation's needs and objectives.
The site needed to be engaging, visually attractive, and accessible. It also needed to provide multiple areas for updated information, to demonstrate how active WECIL are in their projects and activities - including new features such as the Events Calendar and YouTube integration.
Feeds from their Twitter and Facebook accounts feature, with regular updates from WECIL; plus a suite of visual signposts, to reinforce key areas and link directly to them.
WECIL are also benefiting from an upgrade to the latest version of Quantum - our bespoke, Rails based content management and administration system - giving their team a much easier interface to work with including access to the new modules such as the Calendar and Slideshow Feature Box on the homepage. They have admin access to update most of the site themselves, which means independence and control for them.
"Can I offer our compliments on the site; it looks really good and you have dealt with us with the utmost professionalism and interpreted our requirements perfectly."
Janice Saunders Resources Manager
R-Voice was created for young people in care; in collaboration with Bristol City Council, Reconstruct and the Children in Care Council - who were involved throughout the design process and continue to be active as part of the editorial team.
The web site has been commended for it's "look and feel" and "relevant content for young people" by the Office of Children's Rights Director.
"R-Voice is amazing! It's got a really good design, which we children helped create and it's got everything you could need to know about being in care, and most important of all it's got my Blog!"
Becca, aged 16
Children in Care Council
Go Places To Play
Go Places To Play helps young people and parents throughout Bristol find safe places to play. All the city's playgrounds and green spaces can be found through a postcode search or using the interactive map and there's photos of each site - allowing users to check up on the facilities available. Feedback forms also provide the opportunity to contact the council about individual play areas.
"We are delighted with the Go Places to Play web site and have received a lot of positive feedback about it. The team at Focus understood our requirements and have produced an engaging look and feel for the site - including the logo which we use in other marketing campaigns."
Les Compton, Deputy Head of Youth and Play Services
Bristol City Council
Created in collaboration with our friends from Cernis and on behalf of the NHS, Puzzled Out is an online consultation tool for young people to use to provide feedback on the CAMHS services that they receive. This data is then used by participation groups, services and commissioners - giving them access to what children and young people think of their services and how they can be improved.
Sharpak, part of the pan-european Groupe Guillin organisation, are the UK's number one manufacturer of Rigid Plastic Packaging. The Sharpak web site includes a fully manageable product catalogue and our content management system allows the publication of web site content in multiple European languages.
"Focus have delivered a web site that is not only innovative and creative but also accurate in detail and content. Their account handling offers a personal level of services that is unparalleled - we are safe in their hands."
David Riley, Marketing Manager
Stehlin Hostag - Bespoke project management, ordering and reporting web application
Stehlin Hostag are part of the hubergroup – the 3rd largest ink manufacturer in Europe, supplying over 50% of the commercial and packaging printing markets. Stehlin needed a secure online portal to enhance their customers’ experience, enabling them to view key information. The solution - iCheck - needed to be flexible, easily integrated with existing processes and procedures and – importantly – reduce costs for them and their customers.
We subsequently expanded iCheck, displaying an increased amount of information to their customers - first through a custom-built admin interface, and later automating the process via a link to their existing SAP system.
The system has multiple levels of access and permissions, reporting functionality, and holds files and folders within the portals. More recently, we’ve added an eCommerce function, a stock management facility and a function to raise technical enquiries.
We aim to ensure any functionality on iCheck is an automated process for Stehlin, meaning they make on-going and significant cost savings.
‘Focus have been absolutely instrumental in the development of the iCheck system which has become the cornerstone and USP of our business over the past 4 years. The attention to detail which Focus undertakes on projects and their contribution is unparalleled to any supplier we have ever worked with. The Focus team are always receptive to our ideas and are focused on the continued development of the iCheck system.’
Mark Thomas, Head of IT Operations – Europe