FOCAL International website
This project has been assigned the following categories: Websites,
Zoho CRM integration
FOCAL International is a specialist, professional, not-for-profit trade association and the pre-eminent voice and leading authority on audio visual archives.
At the end of 2019, after a lengthy tendering process, FOCAL International selected Scaramanga to be their preferred agency and development partner to build a new membership website for their international audience and support their in-house team.
The new website comes complete with a fresh new responsive design and enhanced member services — all built to current standards and adhering to accessibility guidelines. By developing tight integration with FOCAL’s chosen CRM and other business software provided by Zoho, we have dramatically streamlined the registration and member management. We have also delivered greater visibility of their members’ activity, so that the FOCAL team can more efficiently help and support their members.
The old FOCAL International website
We are not fans of rubbishing the work of another designer or developer as you never know the constraints placed on the company or individual involved. However, understanding the reasoning behind FOCAL International’s desire to commission a new website provides context to our final solution.
The old website looked dated, was not easy to navigate, lacked core functionality and, because it was built a decade ago, it was not built to work on mobile devices or with accessibility in mind.
The new FOCAL International website
The new FOCAL’s website has a great deal of technical innovation behind the scenes to help the small in-house FOCAL team manage all the content.
FOCAL website from wireframe to design
One of the key priorities was to provide member self-service, thus enabling the FOCAL team to move away from having to manage all requests. Members can now update everything, including deciding which elements of their profile they want to publicly display and adding employees to the account. They can even submit articles to be published on the website (with proper moderation of course). We also integrated the site with BAFTA for video hosting/streaming and there is a better events booking system integrated with Stripe.
We collaborated with FOCAL’s external project manager on the selection and set up of a new CRM. After careful deliberation, Zoho was selected as their suite of business tools would be beneficial to FOCAL. The powerful combination of Zoho CRM to handle memberships data and Footage Finder enquiries and Zoho Subscriptions for member subscriptions means everything is running on a single integrated platform.
Custom Craft plugin
When you have two systems (CRM and website) managing data it is important that they can talk to each other. The website’s members’ directory contains details for all active FOCAL International members, but their membership status is managed within Zoho CRM. Although there is an automatic sync of this data on a nightly basis, there are occasions when the appearance of that data is needed more instantly. Therefore, we built a custom Craft CMS plugin to allow the FOCAL team to manual sync individual records.
The Footage and Content Finders
A core element of the previous and new websites are the Footage and Content Finders. Essentially, these are forms that users can submit should they be looking for a particular piece of film footage. These leads are sent to FOCAL members for them to reply to if they can help, however, the old website would send every enquiry to all members — irrespective if the lead was within the specialist field. This created a lot of unwanted emails.
The new website provides a more streamlined approach to the Footage Finder forms which now only email relevant members based on the enquiry type. It is small invisible improvements like this that sometimes have the biggest impact.
Animation of various screens from the FOCAL website
Finally, we merged FOCAL International separate awards website into the primary site and, like the primary website, ensured this website was built with accessibility in mind and worked on mobile, tablets and desktop.
I have to say thank you ever so much, the website looks great and we have had lots of positive feedback.Mary Egan Director of Operations, FOCAL International
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