We began this blog not quite 2 years ago – in April 2015, to be exact – though the project had been going prior to this. We took a look at some of the work we did in 2015 in our end of year roundup post.
We’ve come a long way in 2016. Here’s a quick look at the 4 main areas:
In 2016 we carried out a further 25 discovery workshops with service teams. These tended to be smaller sections, having already tackled the giants.
Re-writing content continued in earnest, reaching fever pitch in the last half of the year. Our content review process is extremely thorough – each piece of content goes through several stages of review before final sign off. This included over 30 formal content review meetings.
Visually, the website came to life in 2016. The homepage was designed, and with it an array of icons that were tweaked multiple times.
One example where the icon changed is the ‘planning and building control’ icon.
The original design was based on a floorplan. User testing showed that customers were unsure what this was supposed to represent.
The new design was based on an image of a person in the building industry (wearing a hard hat) but there was concern in the team that it should be more gender neutral.
With a slight narrowing of the shoulders, and removal of the tie, we felt the final design was more inclusive.
Within the site, 2 main designs were chosen:
- a standard, information-based design
- a promotional design for sections such as leisure
The promotional design includes a wide range of pieces (almost like LEGO) which are available to build in sections. Using these, we can tailor parts of the website so that they have their own unique identity, whilst remaining consistent with the rest of the site.
Alongside all this activity, the kicking and breathing part of the website was created too. This involved the development, in Drupal, of every functioning part. Of course, this links in very closely with the design, which ties in very closely with the content, so lining all 3 up together is the real trick.
We did plenty of user testing, using in-person testing as well as Treejack surveys. We tested the homepage navigation and wireframes with different groups of people. We also tested different design options, from overall page designs and colours to icon details.
Our next round of testing is the beta. There’s no better way of testing the website than actually putting it out there for people to use – and we’re really pleased to announce it is coming soon – so watch this space!