Licensed Building Practitioners

Licensed Building Practitioners


Size: 5 templates for a 70+ page website

Government status: Government Agency

My professional status: Web consultant with Insight Consultants Ltd

Website client: Building Practitioners Board and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

Dates: April - May 2013

Categories: Scoping/pitching/quoting, Client liaison, IA & UX, Website designer, Plone, Government websites, Medium sites

Brief: Licensed Building Practitioners (LBPs) are tradespeople who have proven they are properly skilled. Restricted building work - work that is critical to the integrity of a building - must be done properly to ensure the building is structurally sound and weathertight. This work can only be done or supervised by LBPs. This Government Agency is supported by The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).

Insight Consultants was invited to pitch for the job of designing a new website for Licensed Building Practitioners, The website was to be part of the much larger website, built in Plone, and the design was restricted by the requirements and capabilities of this larger site. Insight has been working with MBIE and Building and Housing for a considerable time, and was perfectly placed to carry out this work.

I was asked by Chris Payne, Insight's Director, to work alongside his team as their resident web consultant, helping with the initial pitch and then working through user testing, sitemapping and wireframing with them. Once this work was completed and signed-off, I worked with the Insight designers, advising them on how best to tackle the modular and restrictive nature of the Plone infrastructure while still bringing a level of BPB branding and styling to the design.


  • Figured out an achievable timeline for the team and delivered our work within the very tight timeframe requested by the client
  • Provided expert advice to the Insight designers on how to deal with Plone and successfully delivered a full set of re-styled elements to the Ministry's CMS programmers that matched our new design.

My responsibilities included:

  • Helping to write the original pitching document, including providing accurate fixed-price quotes for various elements within the project
  • Putting together a project timeline, working out how we could achieve all our tasks within a very tight timeframe
  • Attending planning meetings with MBIE and Insight Consultants representatives
  • Reviewing the user testing aspects of the project, carried out by my former colleague Zef Fugaz - including Google Analytics analysis and Treejack IA user testing with two different audiences (consumers and tradespeople)
  • Reviewing the development of the initial IA site tree compiled by Chris and the tweaks that were recommended by Zef's analysis of the Treejack user testing results
  • Constructing wireframe diagrams for the 5 templates we had identified in the original quote, using Balsamiq
  • Identifying the range of different Plone content types that would be useful for this particular website, and incorporating these into the wireframes
  • Simplifying the original wireframes so that they could be used in our Chalkmark online screenshot user testing
  • Providing guidance for Insight's web designers in terms of what they could and couldn't change within the master templates - from both a CSS and a Plone perspective
  • Identifying and screenshotting each of the 12 different possible Plone content panels and restyling all of them in Photoshop to match the new design - these were then handed over to the Plone developers to integrate
  • Identifying and screenshotting each of the 15 different possible Plone portlets and restyling all of them in Photoshop to match the new design - these were then handed over to the Plone developers to integrate.

Plone is always a challenge, and redesigning a website within Plone is never very straightforward - which is one of the reasons why the Insight team wanted my help. They are most excellent people, and I enjoyed working with them on this project. We also had fun working withe MBIE crew - some of whom - hi Giles - I have known for years, and others - hi Simon - I had not met before, but would go on to work with again on other projects...