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6 Mar 2018

A new website for the National Trust for Scotland

Written by Tessa Quinn
Looking at new website on an iPad
The new look of our website is the first glimpse of a fresh visual style that we will be rolling out over the next few months … but this website has more than a pretty face.

We are really excited to share our brand new website with you today.

The design is much more intuitive for our visitors, members and donors to use. We have updated the technologies, improved the searches, created lots of new content and found engaging ways to share our stories, from around Scotland, with you.

Why have we overhauled the website?

We were maintaining a high number of separate websites that didn’t 'talk' to each other and were running on out-dated technology. So it was time to completely rethink our digital presence. The first ‘mission statement’ ever given to the Trust came from Sir John Stirling Maxwell: “The National Trust for Scotland serves the nation as a cabinet into which it can put some of its valuable things, where they will be perfectly safe for all time, and where they are open to be seen and enjoyed by everyone.”

Eighty-six years on, we are still committed to Sir John’s vision and aim to build a digital ‘cabinet’ to allow anyone, anywhere, from any background to access the treasures of National Trust for Scotland online.

What do we hope to achieve?

We understand that our audiences are increasingly choosing online options to find out more about us and the places we protect. We want to ensure that the people of Scotland and world-wide can be inspired by these places on our website and discover ways that they can help us to look after them.

  • We want to inspire more people to visit.
  • We want to inspire more people to join.
  • We want to inspire more people to donate.
  • We want to inspire more people to volunteer.

What we have done …

Partnering with Edinburgh-based digital agency Whitespace, we have taken an open and collaborative approach to always put our audience first. Our new website has been designed with an explicit understanding of our users and their needs. We have asked people to test every part of and made many modifications based on these findings.

We have commissioned vibrant, entertaining articles, illustrations and photography and in the future we will be using our website to relay the authentic and passionate voices of people associated with the Trust.

We are determined to lead and innovate in the field of digital accessibility, ensuring that everything we do is designed to be a positive and inclusive experience. Although we have a long way to go with this ambition, we have made a good start by getting the basics right and having the new website thoroughly tested by the excellent people at the Digital Accessibility Centre.

We have not rebuilt the entire website, however. Our venue hire, jobs, volunteer opportunities, Thistle Camps and holidays remain on the old website which will co-exist with the new one … for a while.

What happens next?

This is just the start of our digital ambitions and we have plans to introduce even more features over the next months and years, so keep visiting to find out more. And please give us lots of feedback our main social channels – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – we are curious to know what you think.