Moor Meadows: Designing for Growth
Moor Meadows is a fast-growing membership organisation, dedicated to mapping, restoring and expanding Dartmoor’s beautiful wildflower meadows. Their core team represent all levels of technical expertise, with an audience often based in areas with poor web access.
Lumpy Lemon built, host and maintain moormeadows.org.uk to be fast and intuitive in challenging conditions, simple to update, and extremely reliable. It is now Moor Meadows’ key source of growth, serves as an educational resource, and is an inspiration to ecological groups across the UK.
A thorough and collaborative discovery phase is an essential part of our process. Taking place before we write a single line of code, we pair our expertise with the unique knowledge and experience of our clients. Learning from each other is absolutely essential for the success of every project.
Simplicity often belies the thought process that delivers it. It is always worth striving for.
With Moor Meadows, discovery uncovered several key constraints and requirements: structuring large amounts of information; supporting members with widely differing ages and levels of knowledge; designing for poor internet speeds in rural areas; prioritising membership growth.
We also addressed important organisational considerations: What was the technical know-how of the team? How much staff time would be available to update the site? What training would they need?
With good rapport and a shared understanding now in place, we built a simple structure around the content, focusing on core goals. Clarity, ease of use, accessibility and performance (speed) were all key requirements, and guided us collaboratively towards:
- A set of clear calls to action on the homepage.
- An intuitive visitor journey throughout the site.
- A clear specification for the interactive areas.
- Simplification of the membership options.
- Roles within the organisation for ongoing administrative tasks.
The result of all of this is a site that is simple to use and performs superbly. Simplicity often belies the thought process that delivers it, and is always worth striving for.
We began seeing impact within days of launch. New member sign-ups and email list subscriptions have increased dramatically. People can now join Moor Meadows quickly, and sign up to their email lists through a simple online form – no more manual emails chasing memberships or painful faffing around with Yahoo Groups.
New member sign-ups and email list subscriptions increased dramatically within days of launch
Meadow owners now feel part of a supportive and active network. They can share their stories in the meadow makers’ gallery, easily submit their meadows to the Dartmoor Meadows Map, and receive expert help and advice through an information exchange.
Future conservation and environmental regeneration is now backed up by solid evidence, gained from submissions to the Meadows Map and the information exchange. This has uncovered the existence of many previously unknown meadows, creating major local impact.
National impact is being achieved through an easy-to-update, very comprehensive ‘Help and Information’ section, already being used by groups and individuals far beyond Dartmoor.
From day one, we built this website to be fast. It scores an impressive 99 out of 100 on Google’s Lighthouse performance tests. Even we have to admit to being chuffed with that! How did we achieve this?
- We host and fully manage all our websites on high performance servers, designed and optimised specifically for WordPress, speed and security.
- We’re super nerdy about our code: we develop custom-built themes from scratch with efficiency and performance baked in. This is simply not possible with general purpose off-the-shelf themes.
- We use third party plugins only when absolutely necessary. The ones we use are carefully vetted by us for quality, features and performance (for example, Gravity Forms and CMB2).
- On top of all that, we use the excellent WP Rocket to eek out every last drop of speed.
Moor Meadows chose us because of our focus, our straightforwardness, and our experience. We work with other growing not-for-profit and Dartmoor National Park-supported organisations, including the Dartmoor House Martin Project and Devon Birds.
“Lumpy Lemon’s guidance has been invaluable. We have no hesitation recommending them if you’re looking for professional service with excellent ongoing support.”
Our proven processes enabled us to develop a shared understanding and to agree objectives together. The project was delivered on time and within budget. And we got to do lots of cool custom development with our favourite software: WordPress!
We’re delighted with the results, have a strong ongoing relationship, and Lumpy Lemon is proud to continue supporting Moor Meadows with their important work.
We’d love to hear about your project ideas, so please get in touch below.