Our work

Historic Environment Scotland

Protecting and celebrating Scotland's historic environment.

Services provided
  • Design
  • Technology

The ask

Historic Environment Scotland (HES) is the lead public body established to investigate, care for and promote Scotland's historic environment.

The organisation needed a corporate website that provided a consistent user journey throughout. Whether for visitors planning a day out to one of the 366 historic sites in their care, or researchers looking for valuable source material.

We also replaced the organisation's interim WordPress intranet. The new Sharepoint platform looked to better meet business needs and user requirements while providing a new digital resource hub.

What we did

Key to the success of the corporate website was getting buy-in from all key stakeholders to ensure a coordinated and joined-up approach to the website’s development.

Following in-depth user research, the team identified 36 separate audiences and user journeys with over 700 needs. To ensure the website could meet their requirements, we engaged regularly with representatives of all audience types in co-design workshops, interviews, and testing. This helped to ensure the website was designed around user intent rather than reflecting internal departmental structures.

We successfully led the project from discovery, through alpha, beta and live, with design, build, testing and set-up of live hosting environments. We implemented a scalable hosting solution using Azure Cloud Services that can respond and scale automatically to meet high demand without manual intervention.

For the new HES intranet (HESNet), we designed, developed, and delivered it around organisational and user needs. These needs were identified through workshops, stakeholder engagement sessions, and internal user activities such as card sorts and tree jacks.

We identified content types for delivery, which informed the bespoke search functionality, as well as content templates for landing pages, articles, document records, signposts and guides.

Historic Environment Scotland website home page on a large screen

3D artefact viewer on the HES Collections website showing the statue of Psyche and Zephyrs in Melrose Abbey
Small screen view from the collections section of a 3D stone on the HES website
Small screen view from the collections showing a 3D statue

Three small screen views of pages on the HES website - venue hire, Craigmillar Castle, and the Celebration of the Centuries event

A page from the Historic Environment Scotland intranet - Learning and Development section

Large screen view showing the home page of the Edinburgh Castle website
Small screen view showing pages for The Characters, Tickets and Venue hire pages from the Edinburgh Castle website


The corporate website gets more than 6 million views a year. It allows HES to provide valuable content to all audiences, achieve numerous business objectives and ensure Scotland’s historic environment can be accessed and enjoyed by everyone.

The use of Google Analytics throughout the HES digital estate - including the HESNet intranet - enables the organisation to understand user behaviour, undertake continuous improvement decisions and to assist with ongoing content management and development.

Visit the website

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