Bridging the gap between Kingston First and the business community with a new website

Helped the client land 92% favourable votes in their renewal ballot

Created clear user journeys out of a complex web of information

Built the site for
streamlined in-house management

The client

Kingston First is the UKs first Business Improvement District (BID). Since 2005, they’ve been supporting the success of the business community in Kingston Upon Thames through initiatives that make the town centre a vibrant place to visit, live, and work in.

The challenge

After updating their website just two years prior, Kingston First faced a three-fold challenge: an outdated design, an unintuitive user experience, and functionality that stopped the site from being managed in-house.

And with a renewal ballot on the horizon, it was crunch time for businesses to give them their vote to run the district for another five years—a vote that would hinge closely on communicating what they did for businesses in the most transparent, understandable, and engaging way.

Collating website assets

The solution

Our solution put users at the forefront of the site—both when it came to visitors and the Kingston First Marketing team.
Communicating what Kingston First was all about was top of the agenda. So we started by heavily researching their users: mapping out their personas, working out what would bring them to the website, and pinpointing what they needed. This gave us what we needed in order to decide the site’s architecture and information hierarchy.

From there, we restructured and reorganised the site to build intuitive user journeys, prioritising tasks that users would most want to perform, like getting in touch or booking courses. Once the structure was finished, we refocused the site’s content around giving users real value, refreshing it with a simple yet approachable tone of voice, deploying a cross-linking strategy for related content, and creating areas for helpful downloads.

Drawing from Kingston First’s marketing collateral, we gave the whole site a fresh look that kept the brand clean and consistent. We also built a page focusing solely on the renewal ballot, and laid out Kingston First’s plans for the next five years to build confidence with voters.

Renewal ballot page

Finally we took care of the Kingston First team, setting up the backend of the site to be as easy to use as the frontend was for visitors. We implemented light touch functions and integrations to ease the team’s workflow, give them site-wide user insights, and allow us to take care of the more complex, critical site functionality remotely—without them having to worry or ask.

Combining these with 1-1 training sessions, we set the team up with the tools and knowledge they’d need to manage their day-to-day marketing tasks in-house.

The result

Just a few months after launching the new website, Kingston First won the renewal ballot—securing another five years as the town’s BID.

With one of the highest turnouts for BID renewal in the country, 92% of businesses and organisations voted in favour of Kingston First, with 90% voting in favour by rateable value.

Furthermore, the site is now built with both brand and functional longevity in mind. The Kingston First team can update content, track user engagement, and communicate effectively with the businesses of the town centre; all while we take care of the nuts and bolts behind the scenes.

Bringing the brand online

One of our biggest challenges was closing the gap when it came to how the brand looked offline and online. We needed a user-friendly, ownable design language that would bring the site to life, work across devices, and allow content to take centre stage—all while remaining true to Kingston First’s branding and their print work.

We combined a clean, simple aesthetic with carefully considered bright blocks, inspired by the Kingston First logo. These coloured blocks playfully intertwine with content and town photography, tying everything together and leading visitors through pages to reflect the approachable tone of voice of the brand.

See the live site
f6_Quote Marks_2

F6 have been a great partner to Kingston First. We have benefited from the team’s support in developing our website and now their ongoing support to maintain it. F6 effectively engaged with us from the outset to understand our mission and get under the skin of our brief. This approach coupled with fresh creative ideas and technical skills enabled them to deliver a project we were very pleased with. Thank you F6.

Kirsten Henly | Chief Executive, Kingston First

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