The Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) is the trade association for the UK’s garden industry. With a history spanning over 100 years, their focus is on supporting UK garden businesses and helping them to flourish. The HTA represents the voices of 1400 garden retailers, growers, manufacturers, and landscapers to the Government and in the media.  

The business works closely with its members to deal with key garden industry issues and opportunities as well as represent industry views. To do this, the HTA wanted a complete design and rebuild for four of their sites to meet both customer and stakeholder expectations, as well as their evolving business needs. 

The Project

The HTA wanted us to rebuild their main Horticultural Trades Association site, as well as their Association of Professional Landscapers and Horticulture House sites. 

The sites were previously built on Preside which became increasingly difficult to manage with hundreds of subpages. Umbraco was the new platform of choice due to its flexibility, ease of use and no license fee. It also enabled us to build all the sites in one CMS, which means the HTA can save valuable time and reduce errors. 

In addition to the three website rebuilds, whilst we were working with them on the project the HTA team decided they wanted us to develop a new website for their Responsible Sourcing Scheme – or RSS. This would be somewhere the HTA could showcase all compost bags with QR codes, part of the business having a greater focus on sustainability. We quickly scoped and designed a new site alongside the three rebuilds, working closely with the HTA's project team to deliver sites that add value to their members as well as their internal teams.

The Solution

The project's first stage was all about understanding the HTA’s audience, which is where the research and discovery phase was key. As part of our solution, we carried out stakeholder interviews and a UX workshop, reviewed Hotjar data, and conducted onsite user recordings and a competitor analysis. We translated our findings and created multiple personas which provided a starting point for the sites’ UX and design requirements. 

Already seven weeks into the project, when the HTA team asked us to design a develop a completely new website for Responsible Sourcing Scheme, time was of the essence. To make the most of the time we had left, we replicated elements from the other HTA sites and built them into the same CMS. We implemented product cards on the site to allow the other brands to add their own products in the future. We’ll be working more on this as our partnership with the HTA continues. 

“From the original tender all the way through to launch and subsequent aftercare, NetConstruct and their dedicated team have provided exemplary service and high-quality outputs time after time-we would have no hesitation in recommending their services to another company in need of web development.”

- Matthew Phillips, Project Manager, HTA

The Outcome

Through considered research, design and development, we delivered a better online experience for the HTA’s members. Featuring dynamic content, integrations, search filtering, version control and more, the new websites work better to support the HTA’s business needs and deliver a more seamless experience for their members. 

Since the sites were launched, we have continued to partner with the HTA, exploring other areas for improvement.

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