RBS - Content managed website

Creating and developing a vital internal RBS service
Creating and developing a vital internal RBS service

Banking giant RBS needed to completely redesign and restructure one of its major internal-facing websites. The existing platform didn’t provide the depth and breadth of information bank staff and partners needed to make informed decisions about which products and services were right for them, and offered extremely limited functionality for content managers updating the site.

How we did it

  • Content strategy and creation
  • Front end development
  • Back end development
  • DevOps

The objective

The objective was to create a destination site that gave every RBS department a clear, concise overview of what the internal technology division is and what services it provides, with a clear route to access and implement each service it offers.

The site had to be a one-stop destination. That meant it had to cater to every possible department within RBS and its partners (such as NatWest and Coutts) and quickly demonstrate its value with useful, relevant information on an expanding catalogue of products, services and technologies. Functionally it had to demonstrate clear user journeys for a range business, commercial and technical users.

Alongside the design and content restructure, we were tasked with providing a functional content management system that would make it easy and instant for the site’s managers to update site content without the need for a developer.

The challenge

Restructuring and repositioning the website brought some unique challenges along the way. Primary of these was to broaden its appeal, access and functionality to a diverse range of potential users – to let everyone in RBS know it existed and give them great reasons to explore it.

For example, in a typical use case the first visitor to the site is likely to be a product owner or department head looking to understand the commercial and customer benefits the department can deliver.

Once they’re engaged they pass it on to their development teams who use the same site to quickly understand how easy it would be to implement any particular service, and what resources they’d need to do so. The site thus had to cater to these very different audiences in a succinct and logical way.

A second, very different challenge was the scope of the project and number of stakeholders involved. Collaborating with the core internal team, we also engaged and worked with stakeholders responsible for over twelve product and services offered to ensure their products were accurately rendered and represented. Managing this wide ranging, multi-source input required serious organisation and tight management to hit our ambitious deadlines.

What we did

As this was an internal user-specific site, it required no wider market and competitor research and analysis, so we were able to jump right into the project proper with a discovery phase.

Here we conducted interviews and workshops with the core internal site product owners to understand the existing site and what their objectives for the new site were. This created a content template from which we defined a new content strategy that we would validate and iterate on during the first build phase. From this point we had daily morning standups with the internal team to define our actions and outcomes for each day, and fortnightly on-site show and tells to demonstrate progress to the wider internal team and take on feedback.

With a complete understanding of the product and service offering, we started developing a concept prototype with UX, design and imagery. We described and built a site structure with a closely defined content template for each page to make sure the multiple products and services were presented coherently and consistently across the entire site. Usability was our mantra.

As we were working in unison with the RBS UX and design department, it was vital we stayed in close regular contact and aligned our own agile project methodology with their own before we could move on to the build phase.

Alongside the design and content progress, our dev team had begun developing the CMS capability – it was crucial after all that they aligned with existing RBS systems. After discussing and testing a variety of options we chose KeystoneJS as a simple and effective platform for an admin panel and database integration.

It gave us the fundamental features we needed as well as the flexibility to customise each product page to exact requirements, with editable and removable modules and the capability to add downloadable files and links – all key factors determined by the content structure. Our copywriter then came on to liaise with multiple stakeholders and wordsmith the content into concise, user friendly language that would translate well for all user types.

With all the elements in place we created and coded the new site, rolling out in phased releases to demonstrate progress against pre-established KPIs and develop further elements.

What we delivered

  • A revitalised commercial and technical offering for a key internal RBS product
  • A platform that caters to multiple user types with clearly defined user journeys for each
  • A revised, flexible and expandable website structure capable of accommodating existing and future products, services and technologies
  • A set of content templates to manage and update the detailed information for each product, service and technology
  • An easy to access, instantly updateable CMS with detailed instructions on how to use it
  • Ongoing access to dashboard pages containing monthly and annual PowerBi analytics data such as end of year reports

The big wins

  • Future proof – building a single adaptable framework to put all existing and future products in one place
  • Commercial – a restructure and redesign that breathes new life into an underused product offering
  • Empowered – giving non technical product owners the capability to manage their own content
  • Progressive – Fortnightly pushes to the live product built business value steadily and consistently rather than all at once

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