Innovation is at the heart of Shell’s business. It’s what drives its quest for sustainable solutions to the world’s ever-expanding energy needs. An innovative company needs an innovative web presence, one that demonstrates a similar commitment to its users’ information demands and technology preferences.


Shell’s operations are vast, its audiences varied, and the information it needs to share can be complex and technical. They needed a framework that considered all these elements and still delivered a consistent, engaging experience to all users.

Aligning audience and ambition

We set up collaborative RY-Shell working groups dedicated to five core areas: Insights; Content; User Experience; Visual identity; and Technology. We then defined a set of 'top tasks' identified in user research, and made these the firm focus of an information architecture and design toolkit.

Our prototype was tested with users, and acted as a reference point for Shell's technical team, when building the site. In total, four rounds of independent testing ensured that Shell’s ambitions and audience’s demands perfectly aligned.

Tried and tested

Gathering user feedback was vital in Shell’s ongoing quest to deliver customer-focused innovation online. So, when we developed the prototype into the public-facing UK pilot site, we explained clearly what people were looking at and why, and asked for feedback to improve the user experience.

The pilot site was just the start. Having developed a clear content and architecture rationale for Shell’s global and local websites, we are now working together to roll this design system out to other Shell websites: testing, learning and iteratively improving as we go with both users and Shell content creators.

The digital roadmap is owned and managed by Shell, giving internal continuity and visibility to the journey the company is undertaking. Ten websites (including have already launched, with 50 more to come.

One of the things we did really well… we really managed to cross pollinate the teams so that we had RY people and Shell people working seamlessly together.

Chris Battersby

Shell’s Digital Roadmap Project Manager

Back to top