In 2021 Northampton Judo Club commissioned the design and build of a new website from Matt Woch at AKW design. In the free initial consultation, I was immediately impressed by the attention to detail shown by Matt and his approach to fully understanding how our club worked and its marketing needs. This attention to detail was reflected in the final version of the website and I think it captured the essence of our club and what our ambitions are for it.
The other impressive thing about the website is the way it integrates data capture and provides an easy way of assessing the impact of the site and how we need to tweak it to be more effective. The results have exceeded our expectations - in the first quarter since the website went live the club has received 300% more inquiries than previously in the same period which has resulted in encouraging rates of new junior and senior membership enquiries even during the lockdown.
I would have no hesitation in recommending akW dezign as the full package for both marketing and supporting business development."
Brian Atkins, Chair
Northampton Judo Club contacted us first in 2021 to re-brand and re-design their very dated and plain website. From the very beginning of the project, our main goal was to communicate the benefits of judo as a sport and translate it into an informative, easy-to-navigate website.
Another objective was to present the Northampton Judo Club and their rich history of success and the strong community behind it.
The Northampton Judo Club was founded in 1982 and up to this day, it promotes martial arts and defence techniques for both junior and adult members. Moreover, the club and its’ members are committed to spreading awareness and the philosophy of judo that can be implemented not only during classes but also in every aspect of life.
The plan of the website was to present judo and its vast benefits to potential members and encourage them to book a free trial class with NJC.
Our mission was to create a user-friendly, easy-to-navigate, responsive website on every device. Additionally, we wanted to smoothen the journey of the visitors and provide them with an easy way to find the information needed and contact or submit the free trial class booking.
Website accessibility was another (yet equally important) component of the project we focused on. We ensured an equal experience for visitors with permanent or temporary disabilities and those relying on screen readers.
During our second collaboration with Northampton Judo Club in 2023, we re-designed and further improved the accessibility score on the website. We also implemented bespoke animations that smoothened the user journey and made it more interesting and engaging.
The first version of the website brought positive feedback from users and new members, but we didn’t rest on our laurels. We decided to further improve the messaging and informational funnel on the website. Additionally, we helped the club with the creation of a sleek welcome pack.
During our 2nd collaboration with the club, we analysed website enquiries, behaviour and feedback from the NJC members from the past 2 years. We decided to re-vamp the copywriting to further dive into the benefits of judo as a sport in a more simplified and straightforward direction.
On top of the UX-focused web design, we implemented a monthly membership set-up that automated the collection of the class fees. We ensured the set-up that’s independent of unnecessary 3rd party companies that help the club save a lot of fee friction.
We constructed easy-to-follow processes to track the subscriptions and attendance of club members.
Additionally, we assisted the club with the set-up of automatic e-mail responses for class bookings and initiated triggers for e-mails with a new member form and membership welcome packs for new players.
We boosted the club with a digital membership portal. The functional, customisable profile for club members allows them to access necessary information about grading resources and membership management.
The overall website was created in black & white tones with red accents, taking inspiration from the club's original logo. However, we decided to go 180° for the kids' section and create an experience that suits junior sessions' engaging and educational approach.
It was important to showcase the clubs’ approach towards juniors and highlight the importance and benefits of practising judo for younger players. Hence, the copywriting and layout of the website focused on showcasing emotional, physical and social benefits in an easily digestible and attractive layout.
"What can I say, it’s brilliant. Well done. I have never seen this content which is aimed at parents on any other judo website. You have described the Judo philosophy in such a great way."
Dave, committee member
Our biggest task was to understand the club’s values and rich history and transfer it into a functional website. We aimed to present the story and the community behind the club and educate about judo as a sport and philosophy.
With two trained groups in mind - both senior and junior members, we created a website with amplified accessibility for people of all ages making sure that the readability and high contrast between the background and the font are achieved.
It was crucial to create a design that encourages all members to acquire knowledge about judo and the club, its members, and a strong community of like-minded people.
We provided Northampton Judo Club with an accessible yet fun website that details their history and the strong and caring community they create.
E-mail automation and the membership set-up allow coaches to focus on creating engaging and challenging programs rather than spending excessive time managing subscriptions and admin work.
Above all, the website educates about the advantages new members get from joining the club and practising judo. In the first quarter since the new, improved website went live, the club reported a swooshing 300% increase in enquiries compared to the previous period.
The number of enquiries and new members are consistently growing since 2021.