Website Development – The power of collaboration

During 2015, Brand Illumination partnered with our client, AltusQ (a network of senior business coaches operating in Australia and NZ) to build a new website. AltusQ wanted a site that would enable clients and prospective clients to learn more about their services, receive new information and ideas and encourage a sense of community for the coaches and their clients. Navigating a complicated site build for a company made up of strong individuals could have been tricky, without the collaborative model we used.

This project was always going to be a partnership; AltusQ have a strong internal marketing and technical specialist, Barry Thomas. Our web and digital specialist, Judith Love, was keen to draw on Barry’s knowledge and experience of the brand and together they worked steadfastly to meet a tight deadline and deliver the new website.

Judith commented: Barry’s digital experience is broad and having managed their first site, which had grown into quite an entity with the enormous range of expertise shared by the AltusQ coaches, he knew exactly what was needed, but lacked the time and deep WordPress expertise to build the website himself. As developer, I had the benefit, then, of working with someone who was happy to be led, from a design perspective, while being able to steer the build along the cultural and professional visual language of AltusQ, and share valuable insights into what the user experience needed to be.

Barry writes:Finding a developer to create a website for our business was not a task I was looking forward to. We have a complicated and nuanced story to tell… I simply couldn’t imagine being able to brief a third party well enough to enable them to solve all our issues. Add budget constraints to the mix that meant I’d need to do a lot of the work myself;  it became clear I needed a partner, not a provider.

Working with a business full of strong individuals and opinions, it was important to have a key stakeholder to partner with, who was able to gather the insights and ideas from stakeholders, while allowing the developer to focus on moving the project steadily forward to meet the launch deadline. The new website explains the business’ core offers, provides relevant refreshed content via scheduled posts, showcases coach’s skillsets, and delivers event information and ticketing. It has a strong catalogue of written and video posts relevant to AltusQ’s clients needs, positioning them firmly as industry specialists, as well as being an elegant representation of the dynamic and diverse culture that is AltusQ.

This truly collaborative process, complete with push and pull, benefited both AltusQ and Brand Illumination. Judith noted that “in a truly human fashion, we each (I think!) felt satisfied by project ownership. We were able to spot problems that neither would have been aware of alone. Goal posts shifted as they do in every project, but a lot of that movement came out of working together to stretch the content management system in what we discovered to be an extremely flexible theme.” 

There are universal rules of user experience and design trends, but to bring these together to represent the culture of a company that the developer is only involved with from a distance, takes collaboration. As Barry writes: “Bottom line – I needed someone who knew their stuff but wasn’t precious about it. Someone flexible and tolerant (because sometimes I’m not) but also someone with enough confidence and persistence to pull me up when I insisted on doing something dumb. Had I been asked at the start I would have said that the process was bound to be fraught with compromises, delays and personality conflicts. But you know what? It all worked like a charm. We ended up with exactly what we needed and (most of the time) I even enjoyed the process of getting there.


“If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.” – Henry Ford 


To talk to us about how to create a website that meets your business intentions and your customers’ requirements and how we can collaborate to make the journey easy.


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