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The Skinners' Company

Bringing a 700 year old company into the digital age

The Skinners’ Company required a web infrastructure that radically updated their existing online presence, which hadn’t been changed in several years. The Company itself has a long history (it is one of the Great 12 Livery Companies in London) and has many charitable aims, concerning education, housing and social care. All aspects needed to take equal prominence within the system and sit as separate sites within a main hub. The platform itself would also serve as a hub for Members of the Company, who could update their Member details, see what was going on at the Company and securely access documents for committees, book events and keep up to date with member-only news.

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the brief

J B Cole UK were tasked with the challenge of bringing the 700 year-old company and its membership up to date and embracing a new digital infrastructure throughout the company. Moving away from pen-and-ink processes and encompassing all of their individual departments under one roof, they needed a solution that allowed for an extremely simple to use membership and document management system so that members who were not necessarily computer-savvy were still able to use the system with no issues.


Our approach

step 01


Based on our discovery meetings and findings, we kicked off the project with a design gathering and wire-framing process side by side to give the client a clear flavour of both structural and functional aspects of the final build. We created an in-depth look and feel design document as well as lo-fidelity wireframes of all the core pages desired throughout the system.

step 02

Creating the designs

In conjunction with The Swarm we began the creative process and based on our discovery phase we began designing the full system. We came up with a series of homepage suggestions with varying styles, and eventually opted for a more tablet-focused solution which laid the foundation for the rest of the designs and build.

step 03

Creating the back-end

The backend was built in a custom WordPress CMS and was carefully specced from the ground up. We created a bespoke Events, Document management system, news portal and shop that connected directly to a third-party database to control membership and organisational structures. Once the backend was setup, we thoroughly tested and integrated with the frontend of the site. After existing data and content migrations were made from the previous site we pushed the website live.

the outcome

We designed and developed a totally bespoke membership website for the Skinners Company, providing highly visual landing pages with simple navigation for each of their functions, making navigating the Company’s details straightforward. The system integrates with a secure members portal and serves as a location for a large repository of documents that can only be accessed by the relevant committee members connected to a secure member database via API. The system is now an integral part of day to day operations and has streamlined the whole company processes. We continue to support and work with The Skinners' Company on improving their infrastructure further and taking their company forward hopefully for the next 700 years.

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