Melin Homes is a housing association providing affordable homes for tenants in South East Wales. The company came to Amity for a professional website that gives existing and prospective tenants an online port of call.
As well as making the site accessible, Melin Homes needed a thorough search facility so that visitors could find individual properties as well as associated services.
We built the finished site using the Expression Engine content management system, meaning that we could add custom forms and functionality from the start and the client has the flexibility to add more over time. We also worked alongside Melin Homes’ own graphic team to design the site in line with the client’s brand guidelines.
We built the site to be completely bilingual, including each page’s URL, and we integrated a number of menus to help navigate the site, all of which work seamlessly on both PCs and tablets. The site is also integrated with Browesaloud, a screenreader application that reads pages aloud for people with dyslexia and related learning difficulties.
Working closely with the client, we added a custom form builder to the site so that they can build their own feedback and contact forms as required using different fields and options. This helps visitors get in touch easily, and they also now have the choice to contact Melin Homes via a new Live Chat system. By adding this function to the site enquiries can be dealt with quicker, and customers are put in touch with Melin Homes much faster.
All of Melin Homes’ properties can now be searched for online, filtered by specific requirements and key features – such as number of bedrooms, rent, pets allowed etc. In building the site’s intelligent search engine, we found that the user experience wasn’t ideal at first. For example, use of the ampersand (&) would retrieve no results as the search engine was looking for the word ‘and’. We spent a lot of time refining the system, introducing ‘fuzzy search’ features, and it now provides an effective search functionality that is flexible when it comes to spelling errors and abbreviations.