Roadchef Launch New Smartphone APP and Website

Roadchef, the well-known motorway service station brand, approached Star Digital to pitch for their digital marketing towards the end of 2013. The Star Digital team won and were appointed to work on a smartphone deals app, and also to redesign and build a new website for the brand. In April 2014 Star Digital launched the app on both Apple and Android, and an all-new responsive website. Roadchef needed a smartphone app that would drive footfall into their service stations by promoting daily deals and offering easy-to-access brand and location information. The website needed to be easy for travellers to use, as well as it using consistent branding to that used in the app. Knowing Roadchef’s potential customers were likely to be on the move we recommended a responsive website. A responsive website is one which is built and designed so that no matter what device the site is viewed on, whether it is a mobile or a laptop, it looks great:

The Roadchef Website - Before and After

Working together through January, February and March designs were finalised, tech was built and content was created which meant we were in a position to launch the new site and app at the start of April. Days before the site and app launch there was a real team effort where Roadchef worked alongside us at Star in our offices to ensure everything was in place for the launch. At the end of a particularly long, and manic, Friday we all agreed it had been one of the most productive (yet slightly manic) days, and that the end result was one which we were all pleased with. The team at Roadchef kept us all fuelled with Costa coffee and Krispy Kreme Donuts – bribery works! The website is built on a content management system that controls both the desktop and responsive versions of the website as well as controlling the deals promoted through the smartphone apps. You can view the website here. If you need a responsive web solution, or a smartphone app and have customers on the go you’d like to target, then drop us a line to see how we can help.  

Four Things to Consider When Getting a New Website

Whether you’re looking at having your first website built or your tenth, there are some things you need to consider before signing off designs or builds to ensure once it’s launched your new site really works for you. In today’s blog post we’ve listed a few things you should consider if you’re about to have a new website designed or built. Will it work for your customers or visitors? This sounds obvious we know, but the thing is many websites sites look great on first view, but when crunch to comes to crunch, they just don’t work in the real world. For example, an image-heavy website may really showcase your products or services, but if text and information is on the thin side, this will have an impact on a person’s buying decision. If you have a website already you may be able to use existing website data to determine the parts, or pages, of your website that are working already. If this is the case it is worth carrying over the elements of the site that are working well. If you’re starting from scratch, and this is your first website, it is probably worth checking out the competition. Have a look at competitors’ websites to see what visitors to your site will see when they’re shopping around. Take a look at what you think are the strengths and weaknesses of those competitor sites. We always say if you keep your customers at the forefront of your mind when designing and building your site, and if the information they need is clear and easy to see on your site, then you’re heading in the right direction. Is it mobile friendly? Nowadays you just cannot ignore mobile users. Findings released only a month or so ago show that 57% of people are ‘multi-screening’ – this means that when they’re accessing a website they are doing so across multiple devices – PCs/laptops, tablets and mobiles. You need to remember that your website will be viewed on all of those devices and therefore it needs to work well on them. We’re advocates of responsive website design. If you need reasons why responsive is our recommended choice, you can read more in our blog post. Is your new site easy to edit and manage? If the content on your website changes often, with products coming and going, or changing promotions, then you need to make sure your new website is easy to manage and edit. Consider the kinds of changes you can see yourself making to the site on a regular basis and then make sure this is easy for you to do yourself. Website content management systems (CMS) are very easy to get to grips with nowadays, so make sure your new site comes with one. A CMS means it’s always quick and easy for you to add a page, promotion or edit the content on your website. Will your site be SEO-friendly? It is essential if you want your site to be found in Google that it is SEO-friendly. When your new site is being discussed it is really important that at the very least it is possible to add individual meta titles, meta descriptions and custom page titles to pages on your website. Even if you are not thinking about SEO at this stage, say if this is your first website, having the ability to make these kinds of changes will help you in the future. At Star Digital we know that having a new website designed and built is a huge investment and undertaking, so if you’d like some advice on how to get the most from a new build, then just get in touch.    

EVOHOME by Honeywell – Changing the way you control the heat in your home…

Honeywell’s advanced heating control system, evohome, which allows users to control the temperature in up to 12 rooms of their home, launched in the autumn of 2013. In conjunction with this STAR Digital recently launched the evohome Simulator and the evohome System Builder to help potential customers understand how the system works and what it is likely to cost.

The two web apps developed by STAR Digital were done so with the aim of making evohome’s products and systems accessible – for both consumers and installers alike. The System Builder and Simulator needed to make the process of fact-finding simple, and they needed to give people an insight into what evohome can really do.

The System Builder web app had to allow users to estimate the products, and the quantity of products, needed to work with the evohome heating system.  Prior to the launch of the System Builder this process of working out what products were needed for individual cases was a lengthy and intensive one, but now anyone can use the Builder to produce a detailed quote at their leisure, whether on their computer or tablet device.

The evohome Simulator web app had a different purpose; this needed to demonstrate how innovative and easy to use evohome is. The Simulator had to demonstrate the functionality possible with the evohome heating system – such as changing the temperature in different rooms, or the time of day the heating should switch on.

As well as allowing the user to interact directly with a simulator of the wireless heating control device, there are a number of preset scenarios that can be played out on the screen. The entire set up was built using HTML5 and JavaScript to make sure it was compatible with mobile devices.

The results of the development and design project were two stunning tools that utilised the STAR team’s digital expertise, and acknowledgement of web best practice, as well as demonstrating the ability to understand a business’s needs and translate them into something customer-facing, usable and functional.

Here is the evohome System Builder in action:

The Honeywell evohome System Builder in Action
Here a few snapshots of the System Builder in action.

We are able to monitor engagement levels throughout the different steps of the System Builder using Google Analytics Goal tracking. Having the goal funnel provides the means to visualise how people move through the tool which means we can see at each stage of the System Builder how many people are clicking through to the next question and how many people drop out.

Here is the evohome Simulator in action:

Evohome Simulator in Action
Here is a glimpse into the beautifully designed evohome Simulator looks like

For more information on the apps we build at STAR Digital give us a call.