Guernsey is part of the southernmost group of islands that make up the British Isles. They sit in the Bay of St Malo, less than 30 miles from the French coast. Guernsey Harbours form part of the States of Guernsey island provision for inbound and outbound travel along with the airport. As such, the organisation plays a critical role in terms of border control, commercial infrastructure, food and goods transport, tourism and more.
Ports operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and are often challenging places to work. Deadlines have to be met and weather, tides and clashing activities need to be safely contended with. It is vital in this respect that clear and up to date information is provided by the organisation and that staff can update this rapidly, and especially in the case of an emergency.
The core of this information is provided via the website although with social media use via mobile device growing rapidly, these wider channels are also increasingly important for the organisation to service.
This was the premise of the project when Submarine were approached to develop the new website platform with a local creative agency partner supporting brand aspects and digital marketing. Secondary deliverables were that the infrastructure would have the scope for several years of expansion and that Harbours staff could maintain the information and marketing largely themselves - through an easy to learn and apply content management system.
The innovation at the time was to design the website primarily for mobile devices, where traditionally the focus is on a widescreen desktop experience. This included the navigation, font choice, colour contrast (for screens in daylight) and a single (mega) menu for of all site links in the footer, accessible with one touch of the screen. This panel also includes the website keyword search function fulfilling the logic of a 'quick access' portal.
Provision for social media integration includes the ability for staff to create individual website landing pages (in or out of the main navigation) with individual SEO support including meta tags fields. This supports both an improved user experience (rather than being handed off to a default home page) and search engine response and results listings.
Technically, several other features were included including 'live data' feeds for weather and also arrivals and departure information for the major vessels entering the island. Information channels were also provided for different user groups for example, inbound pleasure vessels requiring clear border and local regulatory information.
Beyond this public provision, the website and hosting has also been developed further for internal data provision and training support including a user operated safety and registration programme which is accessible through the web browser (no external software application required).
Visit the website harbours.gg - Guernsey Harbours
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