Army Cadet Force website design

Army Cadet Force is one of the largest voluntary youth organisations in the UK, with 41,000 cadets in over 1,600 locations. To help them achieve their target for increased volunteers, we developed a recruitment focused website with smart tools to track applications. We also created micro-sites for their many locations and a brand centre to create comms material and house their assets.

Project Highlights

  • Website design with micro-sites for 57 regional locations
  • Custom application manager to track volunteer applications centrally
  • A custom brand centre for asset management and branded material creation
  • Website re-skin and responsive update
  • Ongoing support service

Website design and application manager

We began our relationship with the Army Cadet Force (ACF) in 2011, building them a website focussed around driving volunteer recruitment and creating consistent micro-sites for their 57 regional locations. We also integrated a Google map with a simple post code search to find your nearest location. One of the problems they faced was ensuring applications made through the website were followed up locally, we designed and built a custom application manager to help them record and track application data as well as providing regional offices a simple way to report on recruitment progress.

Custom brand centre

As a large organisation with locations throughout the UK the ACF wanted to ensure that all comms material being produced locally was on-brand and that everyone had easy-access to the approved assets. In response to this we built them a custom brand centre - an online hub where they can create personalised branded comms material, which matches the brand visual identity. This was the first incarnation of BrandStencil, an online brand management and comms creation tool which we now offer as a service for all non-profit organisations.

Website re-skin and responsive update

Four years on and we've re-skinned the entire digital presence; main website, regional micro-sites, brand centre and comms materials, to reflect the Army Cadet Force's re-brand with charity branding agency Spencer Dubois. We developed a new visual language for the websites and took this opportunity to make them fully responsive, to create a pleasurable experience for their increasing mobile and tablet users.

Regional micro-sites

At the same time, we also restructured the regional websites. The current micro-sites were experiencing a low buy-in from local administrators, some regions created their own sites due to a perceived lack of the flexibility offered. This brand disconnect was counter-intuitive to the strategic work for attracting volunteers. To increase engagement we ran workshops and interviews with a representative group to understand what they needed and developed a set of prioritised features based on what we learnt.

The end result is a more flexible website for local administrators to manage, a consistent look and feel throughout and cohesive, intuitive journeys between the main and the regional website.whilst retaining a consistent visual style.

They worked hard to get under the skin of our organisation, to understand our rather complex structures and to help translate those into an easy user experience for our website visitors

Melanie Bowran
Head of Marketing and Communications, Army Cadet Force

We're always looking for interesting new web design projects to get stuck into. If you have your own project on the go, we'd love to be on your shortlist.

Send us your project brief and we'll be in touch soon with a quote.