Westpac New Zealand

When Westpac New Zealand needed to overhaul their website, they called Big on Writing.

For Westpac New Zealand, their website is far more than an online branch. It’s a comprehensive banking portal and a tool for customer service, sales, information, brand building and compliance. The website is essential to every part of the business – which is why, by 2019, it had grown to over 2500 pages. With so many departments contributing and some dated technical features, the site was due for a major renovation.

“The old website hadn’t undergone a significant refresh for quite some time,” says Talan Chen, Westpac’s Chapter Lead for Digital Experience Performance. “It wasn’t as mobile-responsive as we’d like and the content was written in an inconsistent way. We needed to give it a cohesive style and make sure all our content was compliant with the new FSLAA legislation.”

Site audit, architecture and content

The Westpac team got in touch with Big on Writing to help with designing the site architecture, creating a consistent writing style and providing both new and edited content.

The first step was a massive site audit, assessing all the existing pages and sorting out what to keep, what to discard, and what to rewrite or edit. Then Westpac and Big on Writing used what they had learned about the content to start shaping the structure of the upgraded site. The Big on Writing team also worked closely with the website developers and graphic designers to coordinate the content with the replatformed and redesigned site. 

“The Big on Writing team demonstrated not only amazing copywriting and content development skills, but they were also able to articulately map out the key user journeys. They developed content flows in Figma that helped us determine the purpose of each section or page, the key outcomes to drive, and how it fitted into the navigation.”

A one-year deadline for the whole site 

It was a huge challenge to deliver an entire new site in just one year, and Talan’s team always knew it would be tough to meet the deadline. But they did – thanks in part to being able to pull in extra help from Big on Writing when it was needed. Hundreds of new pages of content needed to be written to exact specifications and Big on Writing supplied around a dozen extra writers to deliver.

Then there was the massive task of uploading all the new and migrated content, plus auditing and uploading thousands of PDFs.

“We put out an SOS call to Sue,” says Talan. “We needed half a dozen smart people at short notice, and she sourced some really amazing young graduates. The feedback we had internally was all about how intelligent and mature these young people were – they really helped with the massive content delivery job. It was a career-defining project for some of those young grads, and several of them secured jobs at Westpac and elsewhere based on this work.”

“A bunch of lovely people”

Working closely over the course of a year, Westpac and Big on Writing built a strong relationship built on trust and open communication.

“The Big on Writing team are just a bunch of lovely people,” Talan says. “We could really have confronting and courageous conversations to solve problems, without any finger-pointing. We had two leads that we trusted and we were able to talk to them instead of having to try to talk to all 10 other copywriters – and we were all open to each other’s feedback.”

He believes working so closely together toward a single goal was what allowed Westpac to make the deadline, completing their huge website overhaul in just one year and making the whole site look beautiful and comply with FSLAA.

“It felt quite surreal when we launched it,” says Talan. “When we reflect back, we’ve been involved in a massive project that has really launched the careers of the younger people who worked on it.”

For more ideas and advice on overhauling your website, talk to the team at Big on Writing.

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