Duco Digital Helps Nordic Walking Business Set New Pace

 Pat Smillie (left) and Jo Davey (centre) from Coast and Moors Nordic Walking with Darren Winter from Duco Digital

Pat Smillie (left) and Jo Davey (centre) from Coast and Moors Nordic Walking with Darren Winter from Duco Digital

Pat and Jo from Coast & Moors Nordic Walking first invited us to talk through their ideas, thoughts, concerns and challenges in February 2018. 

They needed a professional, elegant, yet simple and easy to use website and integrated scheduling system for their Nordic Walking clients on a clear budget.

Their previous experience was born out of clear frustration, with a clunky and slow site, with links directing customers to another website for bookings, which made it overly complicated.  There did not seem to be any attempt at improving the website or booking system even though it was talked about at various meetings over two years.   A common complaint we hear from many businesses.

Duco Digital understood it was a major decision for them to have a new website and scheduling system, so we rose to that challenge and aimed to exceed their expectations in every way.

The biggest message we heard was the need for clear communication, simplicity and easy to use functionality, so we provided an initial proposal before any work started to set out project expectations with a clear timeframe and milestones, this we felt would reassure them and helped them feel in control of the project.

Although we were tasked to produce a simple project, the first few A4 pages documented all the features and content for the site and I’m sure they may recall, my mouth opened aghast at everything their customers wanted and needed from a ‘simple’ site. However, after considering different website frameworks and workflow patterns, we were confident we had found the right solution for them which not only met their budget but had flexibility to grow with their business and be future-proof as much as possible.

We started on the backside of the project at the booking system. Creating a scheduling system from the beginning was not an option because of time and cost and why re-invent the wheel when a customisable and flexible solution such as Acuity Scheduling is available?

 
 

I found there were many great built-in features such as an administration portal to customise the look and feel, the integration of the scheduler on a webpage and social media and growth potential to monetise the scheduler and integrate with many other apps.

Turning to the branding, we provided a clear brief to our designer Marcel Sterk with enough bandwidth for creativity. We all agreed he really hit the right mark with the final design with a warm refreshing colour of nature, the modern appeal of athleticism from the figure and the contemporary grey silhouette, a feeling of energy from the flowing lines and a sense of freedom from the winding path and clean space; yet all of that is made to feel familiar and comfortable with a sun and seagulls in the sky.

With the website, we continued to follow in the branding’s footsteps with clear text, friendly and engaging copy and clear CTA’s. Although we needed to remind ourselves at times that the potential users of the site were not ‘tech-savvy’, it’s never an excuse (in my opinion) to provide a lacklustre or sedimentary product as it just takes a bit more thought to provide an exciting and dynamic experience.

At the user testing phase, we were excited from the positive feedback from Pat and Jo, yet they (rightfully) continued to challenge us by ensuring the workflow of the ‘sales funnel’ of the website worked for their customer’s, not just for the business model. The importance of the detail such as designing and embedding clear links to help the customer return to a certain website page and breaking down the process into easy to follow steps has made the difference for Coast & Moors Nordic Walking’s customers.

We are delighted to say it was the former, with Pat and Jo receiving so much fantastic feedback. On launch day, users were completing transactions not long after Pat & Jo had left our office.

This project is one of our favourites and I wake up most mornings thinking about Nordic Walking, I guess that’s the price you pay about caring and loving your work.