Client: Paul Bee, agricultural communications manager, British Sugar plc
British Sugar is the UK’s sole producer of sugar from beet, supplying to 50 per cent of the UK sugar market. The company produces 1 million tonnes of sugar a year and processes 8 million tonnes of sugar beet grown by 4,000 farmers. A user-friendly website for busy farmers to download and complete important contracts was needed. This was achieved through the creation of an add-on portal that would be simple enough for non-technical users, while accommodating vast amounts of data and applications for the portal’s various respective users.
Brief: The requirement was to design a user-friendly, low-tech portal for UK sugar beet farmers, hauliers and British Sugar area managers, in spite of the very in-depth, inward technology this would involve. The main priority was to improve the user experience for growers, while reducing the cost and time of sending out contracts and other financial documentation in hard copy format through the post.
Response: To devise and design an on-line contracting and documentation system which would act as an extension to British Sugar’s existing website, complete with secure sign-in.
Testimonial: “I have worked with Dale for more than 12 years now, so it’s fair to say he knows the business pretty well. One of his main strengths is the ability to interpret effectively between the client and the design. “The design of this portal was a fairly tall order: it had to look and feel good for the farmers, who we plan to steadily introduce to the facility in a four-part, four-year phase programme. “Eventually, the system will hopefully be used by 3,000 of our growers. The remaining 4,000 don’t have Internet access. “Alex had his work cut out. We wanted a very good design, clear, concise and easy to use, while at the same time looking nice, with a good work flow. “It’s all been achieved very well. British Sugar is really pleased with Alex’s work. And most importantly, all the feedback we’ve had from the growers themselves has been very positive. “It’s clean and tidy and doesn’t overdo it from a technological level. There are a lot of different applications, but yet to the end user, it’s simple and straightforward. “FDC has an excellent designer in Alex – he’s very talented. If you look at most banking websites, which are highly-technical beneath the surface, they are very light on the design and generally aren’t visually stimulating. “Alex has married the two elements and given us the best of both worlds.”