A new digital presence for Doors Open Day

In September 2016 we launched the Doors Open Day website for Scotland’s largest free annual architectural event.

Dating back to the 90’s when Glasgow was the European City of Culture, Doors Open Day is Scotland’s largest free annual architectural event. The event is coordinated nationally by our client the Scottish Civic Trust and is part of European Heritage Days alongside Scottish Archaeology Month, coordinated by Archaeology Scotland (formerly known as the Council for Scottish Archaeology). Both are supported by Historic Environment Scotland.

Doors Open Days



The Brief

Doors Open Day required a site that was designed with two key users in mind; those visiting on Doors Open Day and the areas taking part in the annual event. It needed to be simple to use and highly flexible.

Our Approach

Built using the latest version of Umbraco 7, the site gives a seamless user experience across multiple devices. We built the templates to be flexible, so the site was not just for when the event was running but could also handle different types of content throughout the year and beyond.

Users are quickly able to find buildings and events in the area they wish to visit through the “find a building” function which incorporates filtering functionality. We knew that actually visiting the sites was important, so we built in a number of aids for helping people to manage their travel to and from various events. This included the ‘My Places’ area where users can add buildings to a list which creates a bespoke itinerary for their days out which can be shared on social media or printed.

We also developed an intelligent back end system with export and import functionality which allows Area Coordinators across the breadth of Scotland to fully manage their programmes online themselves. They could add buildings, locations and details ready for the users to find. This meant the site was right not only for the users, but for those areas taking part.

The Outcome

The new Doors Open Day website is user centric in nature. It’s vibrant, instantly warm and welcoming with a wealth of easily accessible mobile friendly information that is suitable for all year round use, not just on the build-up to the event. The website has outperformed expectations, increasing page views and session duration, whilst reducing bounce rate.



increase in page views


increase in mobile visitors


increase in session duration


in session time for mobile visitors


reduction in bounce rate


reduction in bounce rate from mobile users

“I’ve been working on the new Doors Open Days website for a few weeks now, and I am delighted with it; it’s intuitive to use and as the site is visually led to showcase Scotland’s buildings – it looks amazing!”

Frances Hendron

The Scottish Civic Trust

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