First European e-Accessibility Forum
Accessible on-line services, a benefit for all

29 January 2007, 9:00-18:00
Cité des sciences et de l'industrie - 30, avenue Corentin-Cariou - 75019 Paris

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Printable version

Accessibility helping business: the case of Legal & General in United Kingdom

Dave Wilton & Julie Howell (United Kingdom)
Legal and General & Fortune Cookies;

Julie Howell
Fortune Cookie, UK

Julie Howell
Fortune Cookie, UK

Speaker's information

David Rhys Wilton

David lives in London but is from South Wales, and graduated from University of Wales in Banking & Accountancy.

He started his career at NatWest where he worked for 5 years in Electronic & Internet Banking. That followed with role at, a utilities comparison site, before joining Legal & General PLC as Web Site Manager in 2001 and was promoted to Head of Internet Marketing in 2005.

At Legal & General PLC, he is responsible for the public facing websites, and has strong interests in search engine marketing, usability and browser compatibility.

He claims to have been ‘awoken’ to Accessibility following a presentation by Julie Howell (whilst at the RNIB) in 2001 and has become an enthusiastic advoca

Julie Howell

Julie Howell is Director of Public Relations at web design and build agency Fortune Cookie.

Prior to this she was the Digital Policy Development Manager at the Royal National Institute of the Blind (RNIB) where she worked for 12 years.

She has worked with policy makers, information architects, manufacturers and software designers, businesses across all sectors and government agencies to ensure the accessibility to disabled people of digital information products and services.

Julie was a founder member of the NHS Care Record Development Board (CRDB), working to ensure the accessibility to disabled people for the forthcoming NHS Care Records Service. She is a member of the NHS Direct New Media Committee.

Julie is of Technical Author of a new BSI specification for accessible website design, 'Publicly Available Specification 78: Guide to Good Practice in Commissioning Accessible Websites'.

During 2005/6 Julie held the New Media Age Effectiveness Award for 'The Greatest Individual Contribution to New Media'. Julie is shortlisted to receive a 'lifetime achievement' award in the Imperatives Digital Awards 2006.



Introductive question

Legal & General: made accessible: Why it matters to our business ? Why it should matter to every business ?

That are the questions we want to discuss and illustrate in this presentation

About Legal & General

Legal & General is one of the UK’s top 50 FTSE companies and suppliers of financial services, including investments, insurance, life cover and pensions to 5.4million customers in the UK. The Legal & General Group is responsible for the investment of over £180 billion worldwide on behalf of investors, policyholders and institutions.

About Fortune Cookie

Fortune Cookie is ranked one of the top digital design agencies in the UK. Fortune Cookie puts accessibility at the heart of its design process and has secured RNIB ‘See it Right’ accreditation for more of its clients than any other digital agency.

The business case

Legal & General knew that unnecessary barriers were preventing up to 8.6 million disabled people in the UK from using the company’s website.

The company also knew that competitors offering accessible services online had a competitive advantage amounting to millions of pounds. (According to the Disability Rights Commission, disabled people have an annual spending power exceeding £80bn.)

Legal & General asked Fortune Cookie to entirely re-design so that disabled customers could use it.

The challenges posed by disability legislation provided an excellent opportunity to improve the whole online customer experience. Legal & General’s intention was to maintain its position as a leading e-provider of financial services, by making its website accessible, easy to navigate and pleasing to use.

The design brief

Legal & General asked Fortune Cookie to plan and build an accessible, findable, usable and beautiful website.

There were three key elements to the project:

The strategy

Fortune Cookie took a five-step approach to the re-design:

The results

  • Online traffic surged with a 50% increase in natural search engine listings.
  • The number of visitors receiving quotes increased by 100% within three months.
  • The new content management system cut site maintenance costs by 66% with an annual saving of £200k.
  • The site secured accreditation from the Shaw Trust and will shortly secure RNIB and the Abilitynet accreditations.
  • Conversion rates on every online product improved substantially, ranging between 26% and an incredible 200%.
  • The entire project delivered 100% return-on-investment (ROI) within just 12 months.
  • Documents

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