From a website to a user dashboard.

We’ve worked with Santander for Intermediaries since 2013, completing a range of technically brilliant projects. After a website relaunch in 2015, it was time to further enhance their digital offering.


Agency/client partnership, analytics, research, journey mapping, digital strategy, UX, user interface design, Umbraco CMS, front and back end development

A technically brilliant partnership.

From calculators to dynamic PDFs, we’ve completed a range of amazing projects for Santander for Intermediaries since 2013. One of our top projects from 2015 was when we relaunched their website. After that relaunch we continued to do that technically jazzy work that goes on behind the scenes, but we hadn’t done much work in the way of improving the front end or the overall customer experience.

Enter the strategic review.

We knew that the website was performing well from a technical and functional perspective but given the pace of change in the user experience world we realised that it was time to have a root around under the bonnet.

The approach.

Our strategy team rolled up their sleeves and got up to their elbows in Google Analytics and website usage insight. The objective for the website is to ‘Help a broker submit an application correctly, the first time, every time’ and when we built the website in 2013 that was front of mind. This was still front of mind for this project but we also had to consider how the user wanted to use the site (even if that happened to contradict the business process!). Because we had set such a clear objective in 2013 we had implemented Goals and Events in Analytics that made it possible for us to really drill down into what changes needed to take place.

The research outcomes.

The research showed us some unsurprising facts:

  • Most users want to simply log into the system to submit an application

  • The calculators (specifically the affordability calculator) were twice as popular as the homepage

  • 'Contact us' was most visited as a result of users visiting the homepage

  • The lending criteria isn't being widely used but is really important to Santander for Intermediaries and is fundamental to the 'submitting an application correctly' objective

  • The rates are not as widely visited as we would like

  • The homepage banner isn't used

What did we take from this?

In recent years, the significance of the homepage has begun to lose its prominence for our audience. The website doesn’t really need to be a shop window, it’s functional and it’s only really used if the navigation, Google or their browser fails the user. Luckily, because the homepage and navigation hadn’t changed greatly in the previous 2 years we were able to pull some clear learnings and changes that could be made to increase functionality and the overall customer experience.

But if we were changing the homepage, we also had to address the other prominent pages in the journey to make sure they also increased the functionality and customer experience.

And what about the other digital services out there? Santander for Intermediaries had an app that we knew was well received internally but we couldn’t find the data to back up the customer engagement.

What did we do?

An updated homepage

We took the learnings from the research and completed a hierarchy and content audit to make the page more fit for purpose. We increased the prominence of the most functional aspects of the page and completely removed the elements that weren’t used. Ultimately we wanted to reduce the number of clicks from the homepage to get to deeper content.

Simple searching

We appreciated the fact that the site had been the same for 2 years so we needed to make life easy for the audience, we improved the search algorithm to make content easier to find and to make secondary search throughout the site to allow for pre-filtering.


Although mobile isn’t the primary device type for this audience we knew that when a user did view the site on mobile they needed to access the content at a thumb-click. We got really analytical about how the primary user journeys functioned and the most fundamental change we made was around the navigation.

How irritating is it when you drop your phone while trying to tap the top corner of the screen with one hand? How do you physically browse websites on your phone? Probably with your thumb. So, we locked the primary navigation on mobile to the bottom of the screen so it was within ‘thumb range’.

Secondly, we adapted all the key page templates on mobile because of how complex they were we were forced to strip them back and make sure that if they worked well on mobile, then they’d work well on desktop. Some of the changes we made were around the way tables and downloads performed on mobile, we stripped this back and simplified everything to service the main user journeys.


The results have shown us that our drive towards creating a more functional and usable website is well in hand. Whilst we’ve seen an increase in the number of visits to the website and the number of repeat visit (they’re up 10%), the most significant results have been regarding the time spent on the site. The overall visitor time has been reduced by 30 seconds and the average user visits 1 page less than this time last year. When we look at mobile the session has reduced by 1 minute and the pages are down to only 2 per visit as opposed to 3.

These metrics might sound negative but when we want a functional and transactional relationship with our customers it’s important they can self-serve and find everything they need at the click of a button or the tap of a thumb.

The future

We’re working with Santander for Intermediaries over the next 3 years to further enhance their digital offering. Watch this space for a very exciting, bespoke development due to be launched in late 2018…