McDonald Jones Homes

One of the leading names in building the dream homes of Australian families.

McDonald Jones Homes (MJH) is one of the leading names in building the dream homes of Australian families. With over 600 staff throughout New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, and over 2,000 hand-selected subcontractors and tradespeople, MJH builds quality homes that are testaments to the skill and quality of MJH and their partners.

The MJH group is home to several subsidiary builders, and Digital Garden has partnered with these brands over several years to design and develop new website experiences.

The main consumer website for MJH, however, was five-years-old and itself in need of a knockdown/rebuild. Digital Garden worked with MJH to bring innovative new ideas to life on this new website, built on Drupal 8.

Beginning with a user experience (UX) discovery phase - which included a co-design workshop, card sorting exercises, an on-site display home tour, and user interviews - Digital Garden worked with McDonald Jones to explore a ‘wish list’ of features and functions that we, MJH, and its customers wanted at hand when exploring the home designs and house and land packages on offer in the Sydney, Hunter/Newcastle and Canberra regions.

The main issues the old site was facing included the following:

  • The old site no longer met customer expectations, as the MJH business had grown and evolved in the 5 years since its launch

  • The old site had been built from a desktop-first approach, which proved a frustrating experience on mobile devices

  • The branding disconnect between MJH and its old website was becoming more and more apparent with each passing year

  • The experience on-site was outdated and shallow

From our workshops and UX discovery exercises with MJH, Digital Garden - as we do for nearly all of our projects - prototyped our proposed solution in an interactive wireframe for MJH to socialise within the organisation.

Through a feedback loop and its iterations, we agreed upon the best structural and functional approach for the UX and search engine optimisation (SEO) considerations for the new site.

The user interface (UI) phase of the project was a fun but large piece of the puzzle, with 30+ screens being designed.

Development of the new site included a fresh integration with the Microsoft Dynamics customer relationship management (CRM) tool, which MJH was rolling out internally. This integration allowed MJH to capture of precise customer lead data coming through the forms on certain pages of the new site.

 

The features of the new site include:

  • A rich, immersive and visual user experience for prospective new homeowner and homebuilder customers

  • Interwoven related content throughout the site that brings the user into the McDonald Jones Homes world and entices them to keep exploring

  • Filters and calculators to help give the customer the research tools in the palm of their hands

  • An Inspiration section, featuring lifestyle and blog posts, 3D walkthroughs of homes, and interior design idea galleries

  • CRM integration between the Drupal 8 website and Microsoft Dynamics CRM

 

The MJH team were a fantastic partner for Digital Garden to team with on this project, namely Nayden - who helped guide the vision of the new site from MJH’s end and assist in the user acceptance testing and content population.