Bracknell Forest Digital Services

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3 years and counting

Over the past few months we have done a lot of stock taking on our existing website. This has helped us inform the way we want to move forward with the re-development.

It’s also a good way of benchmarking for the future. Our current site is over three years old. In this time, we have gathered a large quantity of statistics about usage of the site. We can see what people come to our site for, as well as what type of information we present to them when they do – from content pages to PDF documents.

By looking at where we are now, we hope to get a good idea of how our re-developed site has improved the customer experience.

We’ve put together an infographic to highlight the most interesting (to us, at least) key statistics from the last three years. If infographs are not your thing, the statistics are also available below with a little explanation of the figures.

Key statistics from the public website since April 2012

Content growth

The figures around content show that the site has grown, despite attempts to keep page numbers down. This has sometimes led to unnecessarily long pages, something we are going to be looking at during the re-development.

Year Number of pages
2012 996
2013 1208
2014 1191
2015 1244

Likewise, the number of PDF documents on our site has also grown, getting up to nearly 3000 at some points. We have managed to bring this back down through careful assessment of the need for a document, but we still have a long way to go.

Year Number of documents
2012 1874
2013 2840
2014 1197
2015 2170

Overall key figures

Page views 17,752,383
Visitors 2,841,258
Visits 5,898,175

Yearly key figures

These figures show us that in terms of visits and visitors, we have had a steady increase in both, reflecting the general trend towards online services. Similarly, the number of page views has also grown over the years.

2012-13  2013-14  2014-15
Visits  1,581,131  2,172,729  2,354,903
Visitors 793,654  1,097,603  1,227,738
Page views  5,097,905  6,144,779  7,028,221

For a more detailed breakdown of our statistics, we update our website statistics page monthly.

We’ll also be back over the coming weeks to take a closer look at what these figures have shown us.


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Persona development

Thinking about who your customers are is a vital part of any website. To help us keep our customers in mind as we plan out user journeys and content, we are developing a series of personas. These personas are used to capture trends in our customer base, as well as edge cases.

Sorted persona cards

The ones we have mapped out above are based on statistics from our monthly Socitm survey results. However, we need to remember that they are not real people, and that they are not necessarily representative of our customers as a whole. Instead, they characterise a variety of people who live in the borough, from the student who has years of web experience, to the older person who is nervous of new technology.

We will use these personas throughout the re-development to ensure that everything we design is for the customer and not for our own needs. If it doesn’t meet our persona’s needs, chances are, it won’t meet our customer’s needs.

Pile of persona cards for sorting

We will also be asking our service teams to create their own customer personas, allowing us to see more specific examples of customers within different areas of the council, from school admissions to street works. As we move through the re-development, it will be interesting to see the similarities and differences between them.

We will report back on any progress surrounding these personas further into the project and don’t forget, if you want to be involved with any user testing, see our get involved page and contact us!