The Lutyens Trust Website Redesigned

By Richard Wilding, website designer and producer

The Lutyens Trust’s redesigned website was launched aptly on 29 March, 2015 — Edwin Lutyens’s birthday. I was commissioned by the Trust in Autumn, 2014 to make recommendations for a website that takes advantage of the latest facilities for online event bookings, membership applications and social-media sharing and is compatible with the wide range of devices now used to access the internet. Other important considerations were that there should be a search facility to find specific content within the website easily and that its content should be more accessible to external searches in Google, thereby increasing incoming traffic to it. The new site uses a content-management system (CMS) that allows appointed trustees to publish articles, events and other updates.

The design takes its inspiration from the Trust’s existing style in terms of the fonts and colours already used in its printed material. The website layouts are based on a flexible grid, using a “responsive” design which reformats to different screen sizes; this means that the website functions effectively on tablet and smartphone screens as well as on desktop and laptop computers. A website’s ability to do so is becoming increasingly important as Google begins to penalise sites that are not mobile-friendly. A search icon in the main menu allows visitors to search for a particular word, phrase or title, yielding a range of relevant, related content.

The site has two main sections: first, one on Lutyens and his work called “About Lutyens” and, secondly, one about the Trust and its activities called “The Trust”. In the “About Lutyens” section, the “Visiting Lutyens” pages list Lutyens properties that can be visited in the UK, organised by county and with embedded Google location maps. Its “exhibitions” page introduces the Trust’s two current online exhibitions — “Ten years On”, curated by Andrew Barnett, which showcases highlights from the Trust’s photographic archive, and “Memorials of the Great War”, which builds with a new memorial each month till November 2018, curated by Tim Skelton. There are also pages for Lutyens’s biography, bibliography and a chronology of his major works.

In the section “The Trust” are pages detailing the history and governance of the Trust, including annual reports and accounts. Its “Membership” page allows visitors to join the Trust directly through the site. Once they have joined online, members can manage their membership subscription, for example by updating details like their postal address or payment method. The “events” page shows forthcoming events organised by the Trust and allows bookings to be made online and paid for by credit card or PayPal. Previous events are also archived here. In the “Newsletters” page, articles from the Trust’s newsletters dating back to 2007 are currently being added in chronological order. This will provide a rich archive of material while the website’s search facilities will make this content readily accessible.

The new website will continue to grow as content is added, the aim being to establish the most comprehensive, authoritative online resource on Edwin Lutyens for Trust members and for the wider public with an academic, professional or casual interest in his work. We encourage you to visit it frequently and share the website with friends and colleagues.