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

Sarah Farache - Press and Communications Officer

The Problem

CIWEM, the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management, are the leading global professional membership organisation promoting best practice and giving impartial advice to decision makers, media, practitioners and the public.

Their aim is to work towards a safer, more sustainable world. Their mission is to build a global community of water and environmental professionals dedicated to working for the public benefit.

CIWEM are a growing organisation with global reach. Owing to the constraints that come with carrying a royal charter, their membership process is rigorous, but potentially off putting. CIWEM came to Studio Republic with a need to increase their membership base through refining the online process and membership journeys on their website.

Our focus on charity and sustainability led us to targeting ourselves to work with another environmentally focused organisation. On first meeting with CIWEM we were inspired by their work sharing environmental best practice globally and knew this was an organisation we could add value to. Jack, Client Director

The Solution

Clear membership journeys have been defined to steer users to the route most relevant to them. The journeys were simplified to the minimum number of steps required in each case so that potential members understand what will be expected of them.

Working closely with the development team, we were able to understand the extent of the design limitations within the third party software, and apply design elements from the main site, such as the colour scheme and some key features, to ensure the two areas were visually connected.

Using the CIWEM policy areas as the main categories, and simplifying the category indicators to tasteful coloured lines, we created a slick system which allows CIWEM to easily tag and categorise each piece of content uploaded, as well as being an easy visual cue for site users and members to search and find information relevant to them and their area of expertise.


Content Design

A design challenge within this project was that the client had volumes of content that they wanted to continue to use, but needed steer on how to prioritise that content. A further challenge was the refinement of the membership journeys while adhering to the framework set out by the royal charter and maintaining the connection to the client’s CRM system.

Studio Republic led a content hierarchy session during which key stakeholders at CIWEM were supported to prioritise, merge, and trim content that was not performing or was not serving a direct purpose for the end user.

Responsive Web Design

CIWEM had multiple websites including a site for their venue, a site for their magazine, and a job site, as well as their main website. They wanted to bring all of these sites under the umbrella of their main site while retaining some unique identity, particularly for The Environment magazine and CIWEM Venue.

The original sites had varying functionality requirements and carried multiple visual design styles. Significant elements of this project were to visually implement CIWEM’s branding throughout the entirety of their site, making full use of their stunning photographic library, and to deliver interactive user journeys that support potential members towards membership.



We designed and applied a cross-site categorisation system that spans events, training, policy, communities, and news. This categorisation system pulls content to specific areas of the site, as well as being clear and functional, without confusing or distracting the user from the primary content.

CIWEM needed a radical rebuild of their website, job platform and membership journey. To provide this we created a highly intuitive CMS system using MODX as a framework, this allows CIWEM to expand and edit their membership journey as and when it changes over time. We also built a bespoke job posting platform allowing employers to purchase plans for job postings and display them on the website. We implemented the site with CIWEMS current events system, using and API to share data across the two platforms.

The biggest challenge was consolidating all of the content from multiple different websites, and condensing it into one site where it could easily be accessed by users. Each of these sites had differing visual styles so we set about applying CIWEM’s branding consistently throughout the site with a clear UI design which also included clear call to action points throughout to direct users around the site. The whole UX / UI process was made easier due to the outstanding photographic library. Jamie, Developer


It's our intention that we work with clients in a way that enables us to add value to their business. CIWEM’s impressive growth and development plans meant that, from the outset, this was more than a UX review or a website redevelopment project.

Continuing to monitor site performance post-launch has enabled Studio Republic to deliver significant SEO changes and recommendations that support CIWEM to further refine their content based on user response as opposed to opinion. As a registered charity, CIWEM may be eligible for the Google Grant for Adwords so we're exploring that opportunity with them. Being in a position to partner with CIWEM beyond the launch of their new website, monitoring the status of specific journeys, and planning for their organisation to thrive is exactly how we like to work and was what CIWEM were looking for when they appointed their digital partners.

Working with CIWEM has been an absolute joy. The initial site launch is very much the beginning for us and we’re already tracking, developing, and refining so that we can see progress towards the organisation’s priorities. Dee, Head of Brand Strategy

The Impact.



New users in first two months



Increase in pages viewed per session



Decrease in bounce rate

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