Greenfields Community Housing is a Registered Provider that owns nearly 9,000 homes in Essex and South Suffolk. They are much more than a housing provider, because they we create and deliver value for local people and communities through consultation with their tenants, and they help people find affordable housing that is right for them.

Greenfields approached Mackman to develop a consumer-led, responsive website development that aligned seamlessly with fresh new branding and encouraged users to move to digital. Greenfields wanted the site to be a digital hub for their residents; a platform for community engagement as well as supplying documentation and support to residents.

Brand Facts

  • Greenfields Community Housing is a community-centred housing association working across the Braintree District.
  • They are one of four Community Gateway Associations in the country.
  • Greenfields provides around 8,500 homes for rent, shared ownership or leasehold.

Project Facts

  • Mackman was approached to create a website that embodies Greenfields’ brand, putting their values and the consumer first.
  • We produced a digital hub for their residents that is available across multiple platforms.
  • Website features include a self-service portal, live support and video guides.
Website Development and Redesign - Greenfields

The Client

Supporting residents in affordable housing

Greenfields Community Housing is one of four Community Gateway Associations in the country committed to empowering its residents to make key decisions about their homes.

As a community-centred housing association, Greenfields provides safe and secure homes with a range of tenancy lengths, including properties for rent, shared ownership and leasehold. They currently provide around 8,500 homes and have plans to own and manage up to 9000 homes by 2020.

Following the rebranding work we undertook, there was a requirement for a new website as a vehicle for their brand identity. It was vital for the Greenfields website to embody their values and put the consumer first.

The Challenge

Greenfields’ existing website, while full of important information, was difficult to navigate and, as a result, not widely used amongst residents. Our key objective was to create an easy-to-use site, available on multiple platforms, that would slot seamlessly into residential life.

Our Process

Providing access to key information

We created an entirely new site with Greenfields’ brand identity and values at its core.

Drawing upon insight gained during the rebranding process, we designed an intuitive website catering to the needs of both residents and Greenfields’ staff. We worked with Greenfields to identify their core messaging and adopted a tone of voice that reflects community, pride, collaboration and warmth.

Using simple illustrations that evoke feelings of contented family life, and emotive real-life photography, we reinforced the key messages and brand values by aligning the visual elements with the brand’s tone of voice.

Understanding the business: Meeting with key stakeholders

Greenfields prides itself on being more than just a community-centred housing association; they are dedicated to improving their residents’ lives. Part of doing this includes providing a website suited to residents’ needs. With this in mind, we implemented features including:

  • A self-service portal
  • Live support
  • Video guides

External research: What do people think of the brand?

Every feature of the website needed to be accessible and add value to the user experience. This is relevant for all websites, but particularly Greenfields, who offer services to elderly and vulnerable people who may struggle with accessing technology. As a result, we provided:

  • 24/7 online access to vital services
  • Allowing residents to contact customer support
  • Providing information in several formats

What does this mean for Greenfields?

From working with staff, we really got to know the people, why they deliver the services they do, how they do it and what they offer tenants.

The Results

Using the insight we acquired, we provided a website solution that was accessible, intuitive, and visually appealing. The website fitted seamlessly with the branding work we had previously conducted with Greenfields. The website saw an increase in usage immediately after launch, and the portal allows residents to access the services that they need, whenever they need them. On 1 July 2020, Greenfields Community Housing and Colne Housing merged to form Eastlight Community Homes, the largest Community Gateway Association in the country.

Brand Refresh and Brand Governance - Greenfields

I am delighted with the phenomenal increase in our website usage. I think we can all give ourselves a big pat on the back for this result! Thank you for all your help and support. Website usage is increasing; in October, there were 19,694 page views, this is up from 15,300 in April this year just after the new website launched.

Paula Briggs, Head of Customer Excellence – Greenfields Community Housing
Greenfields Brand Development

“A crucial part of the re-development of Greenfields’ website was to make the first step towards their digital transformation. Our solution not only needed to reflect the new brand tone but also comfortably promote the transition to digital within their diverse customer groups.”

Bruce Burgoyne, Creative Director – Mackman