• Product Development
  • Content Management
  • Build
  • Systems Integration

Northern Group : A New Shop Window


Time with HiFi - 4 years

By renovating legacy buildings in Manchester, Northern Group have built a high quality property portfolio valued at £150 million, becoming a major force in Manchester property development.

Seeking to bolster their 30-strong Ancoats team, they engaged HiFi to improve their digital presence.

From small acorns...

Sometimes the best solutions are built organically. At the start they fix a niche problem, but by seeing potential, and continually improving, you start to benefit in ways that hadn't originally been considered.

Northern Group’s digital signage is an example of agile development, born from a desire to just present data to staff and customers.

Realising the potential of improving their brand visibility and utilising their location in the up-and-coming, high footfall area of Ancoats. We provided Northern Group with the ability to generate public-facing, 24-hour advertisement screens for use around the site exteriors.

The need for control and flexibility, coupled with the requirement to be closely tied to their internal systems and brand meant using an “off-the-shelf” solution wasn’t possible. Going bespoke was the only option.

Due to the high demand for Northern Group’s properties, vacancies aren’t available for very long. These screens needed to display the most up to date information at all times without manual updates.

Adaptable, bespoke, integrated,
branded for a fast-moving company

Design & Build : A modern solution

To create a self-contained client-based solution we developed the slideshow as a Progressive Web App (PWA).

Slides are dynamically generated from available properties, fetched from the internal systems and interspersed with videos or poster slides to advertise different aspects of the company.

Content changes are updated per slide, and images and data are initially loaded from the web and then stored locally to minimise network activity.

Solution : Creating their shop window

We worked to develop a bespoke solution, leveraging their brand, delivering well-designed content as templates to minimise effort.

With previews of slides to curate the slideshow at a glance and by making the content authoring as straightforward as possible, screen management is a breeze for Northern Group’s staff.

Design and Build : Easy to use content authoring

Using Umbraco CMS to keep costs down we created a digital signage solution where Northern Group could manage screens for each location.

  • Creating slides
  • Assigning predefined slides to screens
  • Previewing slideshows
  • Remotely updating screens

All centrally and simply managed.
Their own small, digital signage empire.

Results : Centrally managed, fully branded, digital signage ecosystem

The impact of our work has been felt across the organisation

  • Internal data screens are used in daily planning meetings and provide a continually changing snapshot of the company
  • External advertising screens have led to regular walk-in enquiring about available properties.
  • Development screens keep residents informed.

After 5 separate phases of improvements, refining, adding new features, there’s still plenty of untapped potential!

  • 99% Uptime
  • 13 Walk ins
  • 7 Screens in use
  • 600 Properties advertised

Do you have a niche problem?

Sometimes you have an idea that just can't be fixed by off the shelf software. It just needs that little peice of bespoke to solve a problem. It's often best to take a punt on that idea, it might just turn into something great, that makes you stand out.

We're experts at solving problems, taking ideas and quickly and efficiently creating a first version. If it works and can be evolved we'll help you to grow that idea into something special.

Let's create something unique together

  • The Story So Far

    Northern Group : The story so far

    Project tags

    • Digital Strategy
    • Content Management
    • Content Writing
    • Design & Build
  • Property Experience

    Northern Group : Property Experience

    Project tags

    • Ecommerce
    • Content Management
    • Design
    • Build
    • UX