Sogeti gives Glasgow Airport the reassurance to launch its new, responsive website ahead of the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Following the decentralisation and rebrand of the BAA Group to Heathrow Airport Holdings in January 2013, the decision was made to disband the Group’s digital assets including the consolidated hosting platform, giving each airport more independence and control over their own digital strategies.
Glasgow Airport took this opportunity to completely refresh its website, but with only three months to make a seamless transition away from the Group platform and complete the project, the clock was ticking to launch the new fully robust site. The forthcoming 2014 Commonwealth Games and associated increase in passengers that would be using the website to find information meant there was increased pressure to get everything right first time.
The airport’s Digital Marketing Executive, Colette Jackson, engaged with an external web developer for the initial design and development stages of the project. They incorporated mobile responsiveness in order to provide a better user experience irrespective of the user’s device or platform, and enhanced functionality to make it easier for visitors to navigate and find relevant information as well as providing the airport with innovative new ways to market its airline partners.
“Moving away from the Group’s consolidated platform means we now have greater control over content, are able to make changes much faster, and we can work with our partners more effectively to market their airlines on the site. The move provided the ideal opportunity to upgrade our website and improve our customer and partner experience - but we still needed to test it to make sure the new solution was 100% robust”, Jackson concluded.
As all Quality Assurance activity had previously been carried out at a Group level by Heathrow Airport Holdings, Glasgow Airport had no internal testing expertise or devices to test the refreshed site. Coupled with the tight deadline, this meant that Colette had to turn to an external testing provider to provide her team with the assurance they needed to push their website live on time.
Having never worked with a testing partner, Glasgow Airport had no set criteria in place – instead they turned to their colleagues at Southampton Airport who had recently undertaken a similar project:
“Our decision to choose Sogeti Studio was purely based on a referral from Southampton Airport, with whom Sogeti had recently undertaken a very successful UAT and cross browser testing project. After hearing their recommendation it didn’t make sense to look at any other suppliers”, commented Jackson.
Glasgow Airport engaged with Sogeti Studio, Sogeti’s local UK web and mobile testing lab to carry out User Acceptance Testing across three popular browsers, and on three devices running different operating systems: an Apple iPhone; an Android tablet; and a standard Windows desktop computer. Testing across this range provided reassurance that the website and its new functions were operating correctly, and to a high standard, irrespective of where and how the user tried to access the site.
Sogeti also performed responsiveness testing across the whole website on the same three devices, ensuring that the new design rendered as it should across a variety of screen sizes.
Sogeti staff worked closely with Colette to complete the project, and despite the testing start date changing a number of times Sogeti had staff on hand and ready to go whenever the airport was in a position to hand it over.
“The best thing about working with Sogeti was their flexibility. Due to delays in development I had to move our handover date three or four times and this was never an issue. I felt everything went really smoothly”, said Jackson.
The team from Sogeti Studio managed to turn around the project on time and on budget despite the handover dates being moved. The fixed price for the project meant that, although Sogeti was able to ramp resources up and down in order to meet the tight deadline, any delays didn’t affect the original budget.
As Glasgow Airport had no specific testing expertise in house, working with Sogeti provided the reassurance that the new site created by the third party web developer was fit for purpose, not only in terms of the new functionality but also that it was easily readable on any device. In turn this has reinforced the robustness of the site and reduced the risk of the airport’s brand reputation being put in danger, which would be particularly damaging ahead of the Commonwealth Games.
With the new functionality fully tested, Glasgow Airport can be more confident working with airline partners to market flights and offers and generate higher revenues through its website.
“I feel that working with Sogeti has been a great success and they delivered exactly what we expected despite the short time frame. We have been given the reassurance that our site can better cater for our customer and partner needs”, said Jackson.
Glasgow Airport’s new, responsive website went live on time and on budget, with a seamless transition. Colette Jackson concluded: “I am very happy with the decision to choose Sogeti to carry out UAT and responsiveness testing across our new site. There is nothing I would change or improve on in terms of my experience as Sogeti made everything really easy for us. Should we have any similar projects in the future, Sogeti Studio would be our first port of call”.
Glasgow Airport opened in 1966 and is now Scotland’s principal long-haul airport. It partners with 30 airlines which serve approximately 100 destinations worldwide, and more than seven million passengers pass through the airport’s doors each year.
The airport is to be the key entry point for thousands of athletes, media and spectators as they fly in to Glasgow for the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Ahead of the event, the airport has made a significant investment in the customer experience, including the redesign of its website and an overhaul of the checkin hall and international arrivals area.