Case study: North Lanarkshire Federation of Tenants’ and Residents’ Associations (NLF)

Image: North Lanarkshire Federation website. The NLF website is designed as a directory of, and support site for, local residents groups.

This has been a particularly interesting and satisfying project to work on – for a number of reasons:

  • The NLF committee members had already done preparatory work and had clear idea about what their website was for, who it was for and how they wanted it to look. Subsequent discussion brought these issues into even sharper focus.
  • We were successful in organising and presenting content in a way that works for visitors – despite the large number of features and content required by the specification.

The visual design was created in partnership with Richard Nicodeme of Context Design – with constant feedback from the committee. Our first design didn’t quite hit the mark, but after much discussion and revision we came up with a design that was what the group was looking for and one I think really works well for this site.

Features of the NLF website

  • Central to the site is access to details of local residents groups. Over 50 groups will have their own page on the site – which they can potentially update themselves. Each group page is like a mini website – with news, events, the ability to upload documents and group details. The group pages are linked from the home page via a map of the geographic areas covered by the Federation. More groups will be added as the website grows – these will be automatically slotted into the correct area page.
  • A document library was developed for the site; sub-divided into 10 different sections. Documents can be uploaded along with a summary of each document.
  • The site has a photograph gallery. Photos can be divided into categories and the categories shown on different pages. The photo gallery page also automatically displays relevant photos from the area, pulled from the Flickr photo service.
  • Other sections include: local news, a discussion area, a what’s on section and a problem solving section. Each of these main areas can be accessed by clicking large buttons on the home page. Relevant photographs were used on the buttons.
  • Accessibility features were added to make the site presentation more flexible. Visitors can change the text size; unlike most text size changers can make text as large as they want or as small as they want, i.e., they are not limited to the usual three sizes. A high contrast layout is also available by via a link on each page.
  • The accessible content management system QnECMS was used to manage the site.

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