Cundall has 21 international offices spanning over 10,000 miles from Belfast to Brisbane, and 1000 consulting engineers in its team of nearly 1500. It has over 20 distinct service divisions and case studies spanning 16 sectors. In short, Cundall is a big company. So redeveloping its global website was never going to be a cakewalk.
Defining the job at hand before we could win it
Cundall approached us because of our wide experience in the built environment sector, having worked with a number of AJ100 practices and leading developers and engineering firms. But even with our track record, it took a great deal of effort to win the job. A big issue was the amount of uncertainty in the project. We’re used to dealing with that; a big part of our strength is helping to reduce ambiguity.
We satisfied Cundall that the best way forward was to split out the discovery stage of the project to define the brief. They would benefit by getting a more thorough comparison of competing suppliers and be on a much stronger footing for eventual success.
We completed a thorough breakdown of the job at hand, including: stakeholder interviews with their teams in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Australia; persona and key audience definition; digital estate review; competitive analysis; client interviews and ideation workshops.
The final deliverable was a new Request for Proposal (RFP). The brief and budget had to be well enough defined to allow competing agencies a fair view of the challenge, while still giving them room for their own interpretation and competitive pricing.
We outlined in the document:
- The reason for the RFP and project background
- What work had already completed including a brand update, content gathering and our discovery project
- Key goals and challenges
- Core audiences
- Content management, technical and nonfunctional requirements
- Budget range and timeline
- Prequalification information (nobody wanted to waste anybody's time) and requirements for proposals including a breakdown of how they would be assessed
- Detail on how and when to ask clarification questions
- An appendix of Cundall websites and social media platforms
After a competitive tender, rigorous internal review and a round of in-person interviews, we were delighted to learn that we’d won the job and quickly got back to work.
Inclusive design: WCAG standards and a culturally diverse global audience
Cundall supports a global network of offices and around 1500 employees. So when they talk about inclusion, they mean it. The company’s staff and clients form an enormously varied community. In Cundalls own words, “culture, language, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, and cognitive variance are just a few of the factors that need to be considered.”
In this context, developing a website to meet the WCAG 2.1 AA accessibility standard is perhaps the easy part. Inclusive content, on the other hand, that resonates with diverse and divergent audiences is a harder nut to crack.
We worked with Cundall’s content team and service leads around the globe to promote inclusive content. This approach resulted in imagery and copy representing the full spectrum of Cundall’s employees. A balanced approach to technical language was employed, keeping language plain and simple where possible.
Multi Language, multi region
While not yet fully realised, the website has the capability to serve content in multiple languages. Chinese translations are underway with multiple European languages and Arabic not far behind.
Targeting of user’s locations also allows regional offices to promote area-specific content, enforcing the message that Cundall is a global company with local knowledge and expertise.
Conscious efforts like these let Cundall reach more people and resonate better with internal audiences, clients and job seekers of all characteristics. They also accord with the company's stated vision and values and its five-year Diversity and Inclusion Strategy.
Putting ideas and thought leadership ahead of hierarchy
A common maxim is that people buy from people. So Cundall challenged us to promote the culture, diversity and innovative thinking that makes it so successful.
In response, we put the company’s staff and ideas at the core of its website. Instead of relying on hierarchical norms, we encouraged Cundall to showcase people from all sectors, services, positions and offices to promote clever thinking wherever it originated. To animate people, we introduced a bold new rule: profile pages on the website would be reserved only for producers or co-authors of thought leadership content (blog posts, podcasts, white papers webinars, videos and so on) with no exceptions for seniority.
As a result, Cundall’s staff—from all corners of the business—have an amplified voice. New content raises profiles in the listings, which drives content creation. Diversity and innovation are evidenced (better to show than tell) by encouraging staff to express their ideas and passions.
More conventional pages for services, sectors and case studies still exist, but they are secondary to the people and ideas that really drive Cundall’s results.
Success and room to grow
Cundall’s ambition was to promote the business by elevating the talent, enterprise and innovation found in its global team.
We helped the company reevaluate norms and put its staff front and centre. And in turn, create a website that holds true to the objectives of Cundall’s founding partners in 1976. In his own words Geoffrey Cundall set out to create a practice that was “less hierarchical than other practices... and allowed and encouraged staff to have a greater say in its conduct... and strive for excellence.”
We feel like the Cundall website reflects that noble vision. But qualitative assessment aside, the stats look good, too.
At the time of writing:
- Sessions per user are up over 20%
- Pages per session are up over 62%
- Session duration is up 106%
- Single-page visits (bounce rate) have dropped 30%.
We continue to work with Cundall, supporting its ongoing goal to create inclusive content and promote its talents.
Sessions per user are up over 20%
Session duration is up 106%
Single-page visits (bounce rate) have dropped 30%