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The Challenge

The Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management are the leading global professional membership organisation promoting environmental management best practices amongst decision makers. Their mission is to work towards a safer, more sustainable world by building a community of professionals. Despite having a growing global reach, CIWEM carried a royal charter which made their membership application process rigorous to the point of being off-putting. They came to us to help them improve their online processes and user journeys in order to remove the barriers affecting their membership drive.


The Partnership

To solve CIWEM’s User Experience challenge, we began by defining clear membership journeys to move users through the route most relevant to them. We also ensured each of the journeys were simplified to the absolute minimum number of steps required so that potential members understood what was expected of them. Working closely with the development team, we were able to understand the extent of the design limitations within the third-party registration software and apply the design from the main site to ensure the two areas were visually cohesive, minimising confusion. Using policy areas as the main categories, we also simplified the category indicators to tasteful coloured lines and created a system which allowed the client to tag and categorise content easily. This also gave users visual cues to find information relevant to them.

As part of our challenge to simplify users’ experience, we also brought multiple websites for their venue, magazine and jobs board under the umbrella of the main site. The focus here was implementing one brand identity throughout the website, whilst clearly retaining each arm’s unique purpose. We also designed a cross-site categorisation system that spanned events, training, policy, communities, and news, pulling content through to the relevant areas of the site. Needing a complete rebuild of their website, job platform and membership journey, we created a highly intuitive CMS system using MODX which allowed CIWEM to expand or edit their membership journey as it changed over time.


To help reduce the sheer volume of content that we were tasked with using on-site, we led a content hierarchy workshop. The session facilitated key stakeholders to prioritise, merge and remove content that was not performing or serving a direct purpose for users and ultimately allowed us to reduce the amount of information used in the launched product.

The Positive Impact.



New users in first two months



Increase in pages viewed per session



Decrease in bounce rate

Beyond delivering us a great new website, Studio Republic are a sustainable, ethical organisation which as an environmental organisation is important to us. They have been wonderful to work with - a helpful, friendly team who were flexible and accommodating, and made what seemed an impossible task very manageable.

Sarah Farache - Press and Communications Officer

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