Building a website can often become a huge project, requiring a great deal of resources. But for many businesses, the main challenge starts much earlier – at the planning stage. How do you imagine adding innovative, clever web application functionality, if all you’ve ever had is a standard website?

Where do great ideas come from?

Companies are increasingly using web applications to extend their services to clients, partners and employees. There is an ever growing expectation that website functionality should go beyond just introducing the services of a business, and also form a platform for your service offering.

So – how can additional functionality be incorporated into business websites? We have put together some examples of how technology can be used to connect a service provider to its users.

  • Example one: Community Engagement
    One major objective for medical services provider Intelligent Health was to connect with the local community across the UK and improve physical activity in various ways. The website Click into Activity became a solution for making this happen. The website offers an interactive gameplay using strategically located RFID tags for users to connect with on their mobiles, in order to unlock various achievements through physical activity. By using mobile technology, Intelligent Health is able to bring the website to life for the user – and encourage health in a fun way.
  • Example two: Planning
    Another creative way of bringing the real world into the digital world is what Special Projects did when they imagined up the BitPlanner. Their application allows a large, physical in-office planner to be converted into a digital diary format. The planner uses LEGO® bricks, which means a team can work in a very tactile way to map out activities over a longer period of time, and then transfer the information into everyone’s calendars with the help of a simple mobile scan.
  • Example three: Performance tracking
    Proactive wellness management is becoming more and more common in the UK, as organisations increasingly want to pre-empt future problems by monitoring and improving the physical and mental health of employees. iMPACT Software, working with wellness solution provider Everyone Health, wanted to create a web application that could measure health intervention and wellness outcomes. This was a completely unique functionality, as it allowed secure access to the user’s improvement journey and provided tangible evidence that the users were showing progress.
  • Example four: Temperature tracking
    As Internet of Things is becoming a more common part of the technological landscape, connecting a thermometer to a website may not sound like a transformational concept. But for food, health and fire compliance service provider CoComs, the ability to connect temperature data directly into a web application became a huge leap forward. With their web-based temperature recording and reporting software, the food temperature compliance monitoring process is completely automated and eliminates the need for paper records. With tamper-safe records stored securely, the business is able to meet very stringent compliance requirements. The system also saves a great deal of time on the individual measurement level, while management can easily log in to see overall trends and spot any problems early.
  • Example five: Document creation
    Anyone who’s ever worked in a role that entails import and export will know that document preparation is a critical and complex part of the process. However, the company iCert wanted to simplify this process and devised a complete online platform for the preparation, creation and submission of export documents. The interactive process means the user is guided through the regulatory jungle with clear signposts and instructions along the way. The end result is a confident user and a set of correct, compliant and approved paperwork – faster than would otherwise have been possible.

Finding the next big idea for a breakthrough web application may seem impossible. But what we often find is that many organisations already have a clear view of their customer’s key challenges, which is a great starting point for designing new functionality.

What do you already know about your customer’s pain points? How can you address them in a useful way on your website? By answering these questions you can identify new, smart ideas for maximising the value of your website.