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We transformed the way Abbeyfield showcase their available retirement properties through clever UX and sleek design

Searching for a new retirement home is a bit like searching for a house on Rightmove, except different regulations and evolving care needs can make the journey a lot more complex.


Following a comprehensive website audit, which included sophisticated tracking software and a survey poll for visitors to fill out, our UX team discovered that there was user ambiguity between the types of housing services that Abbeyfield offered.

Not only that, Abbeyfield’s existing website was sat on outdated technology that posed a security risk and needed migrating to improve the user experience for the digital team who use the Content Management System (CMS) daily as part of their roles.

What we did

Alongside the digital data gathered, we analysed sales statistics from enquiries to Abbeyfield that formulated a proposal to design a radical new user experience that focused on the needs of the prospective resident and asked questions in a conversational interface that led to the most suitable home in their area.

Following the newly created ‘user flow’, our design team conducted research that focused on Abbeyfield’s target demographic and highlighted the branding elements in their guidelines to enhance the attractiveness to visitors. These key decisions which were made early in the project scoping were articulated to the senior leadership team, ready for project commencement.

The new website was built on the latest Umbraco 8 CMS. As it’s the latest version of the CMS, this meant that it would be up to date with security fixes and built with ultra-modern design standards such as dependency injection. This means we have the ability to test different features on particular sections of the site without impacting users, or change the site logic with a simple change of provider. 

Using Umbraco 8 allowed us to utilise the Umbraco Cloud platform for hosting the site. This means we didn’t need to set up any infrastructure and we had the benefit of development and staging environments with a deployment pipeline already built and ready to use, which makes deployment of new features as simple as clicking a button.

With an entirely re-architected sitemap that is optimised for search engines from the ground up, Abbeyfield is on track to reap the benefits of a collaborative digital partnership with Greenwood Campbell that will improve conversion rate and help grow the organisation.

All boxes ticked


In the two years since launch, Abbeyfield have seen a 131% increase in traffic, 282% increase in enquiries & over £700k in increased revenue.

Alongside the uplifts in search traffic, conversions & home enquiries, we have received some wonderful feedback from across Abbeyfield to include these select few:

“Really great job folks, thank you. It looks really good and much more practical and user friendly” – David McCullough, CEO Abbeyfield

“Huge well done all, a massive piece of work, I do not under-estimate how much effort has gone into this” – Gail Howlett, HR Director of Retirement Living

“I especially like how easy it is to find a place near me and the questions that signpost me to houses or homes that suit my needs” – Kirstan Sparshott, Regional Director

Check out the site here.

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