Insights

What made Agria and Valtech winners at the 2016 Web Service Awards

Business Development Manager - SE
Valtech

February 08, 2016

In 2016, our client Agria earned two significant awards in the categories “Best Information & Service” and “Best Responsive Website” from Web Service Award.

In the jury’s words:

- Best Information & Service

“It's a website people really like visiting. The site is rich in information and features. It provides significant value to users, with information that is easy to absorb. It is obvious that the website is being developed with a clear understanding of the target group.”

As a digital partner to Agria, those of us at Valtech are at least as excited and proud today as our client company. Which is why I wanted to say a few words about the work that went into producing the winning solutions.

The team that (almost) talked to horses

Agria provides insurance solutions for Swedish animals and their owners, as well as for crop owners. This means that our team has literally had to put themselves in the customers’ shoes, out in the dirt. This helped us gain insights about visitors and offer them the best possible user experience. We did our research in the stable, at the breeder’s and at the vet. We listened to calls at the call centre and claims department, and analysed Google Analytics. The animals themselves are probably the only group we did not manage to talk to. This type of thorough surveying of the various target groups is the foundation on which we build our solution.

The entire project was permeated by a focus on visitors.

Animals in focus

The overall feeling and the sustaining concept for Agria.se was to put animals at the forefront. The customer should feel that Agria cares at least as much about Fido, Rover and Daisy as they do about the owners. By emphasising furry friends and bushy tails instead of just contractual clauses and premiums. Basically, we believe that a gentle, easy-to-use and playful interface ultimately leads to more insurance policies being taken out.

In the jury's words:

- Best Responsive Website

“A good, responsive website should provide visitors with a great desktop and mobile experience. Easier said than done in many cases. But the winner has definitely managed to give visitors a great experience, no matter what device they use. The site has earned the praise of visitors and the jury alike.”

Keeping in mind that Agria's target group is on the move, we focused on creating the best possible mobile experience as well. Everything from the way images resize based on screen size to how we enriched the user experience based on the device used to visit the site. The result is that significantly more users visit the website using mobile devices today.

Our work was done in a customised, agile way that worked well for both those of us at Valtech and for Agria. We were constantly adjusting our methods in order to be as efficient as possible and to obtain high-quality code and concepts.

Let's talk tech

None of this can be done without a seasoned tech team manning the controls. Agria’s public website is built on EPiServer 8.5. In order to meet the company's media handling needs both on and off site, it relies on ImageVault 4.7 combined with a custom solution for handling focus points in different images. This makes it possible for editors to edit an image just once to update every instance where that particular image is stored on the site. In order to establish a loosely coupled architecture and to facilitate automated testing, the site uses StructureMap for dependency injection, along with RhinoMocks, NUnit and Selenium2 for mocking, device testing and UI testing.

Unless you have really good developers who can bring your vision to life, it does not matter how good your ideas are regarding the requirement and concept.

There ends my little outline of our collaboration with agria.se. There is of course far more to be said about this winning project. So if you happen to be in Sweden, I'll be happy to tell you more over a cup of coffee (or a water bowl if you have your dog in tow!).