Case Studies : Slough Borough Council

Slough Borough Council Website

Customer service portal providing citizens with information and online transactions

This case demonstrates Double Eye’s ability to deliver a full end-to-end solution, taking a client’s need for change and developing a strategy and solution to successfully meet that need.

 

The Context

Slough Borough Council was re-developing its customer service offering to provide a comprehensive and coherent service across multiple delivery channels including face-to-face, phone and web. Unisys were contracted to design and run the programme of change, and Double Eye were sub-contracted to deliver the web channel service.

The Objectives

  • Re-develop Slough Borough Council’s websites to provide a seamless service with face-to-face and phone channels.
  • Increase content levels to ensure information is provided for all council services and all transactions can be initiated online. Ensure consistency is maintained with non-web channels.
  • Develop a compelling user experience which is easy to use, accessible by disabled users and ensures Slough is recognised as a leader in local authority websites.
  • Implement a content management solution allowing council departments to take control over the authoring, updating and publication of their content without the need for technical skills.
  • Ensure the council is fully compliant with e-government requirements, adopts accepted best practice and is able to significantly increase compliance levels with National Priority Outcomes and BVPI 157.

The Process

A business case was developed to provide insight into project requirements, deliverables, risks & costs. This was used by the Slough management team to make financial and planning decisions and to ensure the project fully integrated with the full programme of work.

E-government requirements and best practice guidelines were assessed and development checklists were created to ensure a high level of compliance. The user experience was designed using focus groups to ensure alignment with user expectations. Rapid prototyping was used to mock-up alternative information architectures which were tested for usability.

A software selection exercise was conducted to select a content management solution. Over 50 vendors were evaluated over 3 assessment rounds after which RedDot was chosen as the preferred supplier.

The technical architecture was designed and the system built, integrating the CMS, user interface and hosting environment. Bespoke software was authored to provide additional end user functionality.

The migration of content into the new system was planned and executed, moving over 2000 web pages, 500 PDF documents and 200 images, whilst ensuring no downtime between the change over from old and new systems. The system was tested to ensure it functioned as designed, was accessible, easy to use and compliant with the required standards. Two cycles of end-user testing and enhancement were conducted before launch.

The Outcome

A new Slough website was launched in October 2005 and achieved all the stated objectives. A very positive response was given by site users and Slough Borough Council staff.

The site was fully eGIF compliant and accessibility compliant to AA standard.

As a direct result of our solution, Slough were able to report substantial increases in BVPI 157 and National Priority Outcome compliance in the 2005 IEG Statement submissions.

Slough Borough Council moved from the bottom 10% to the top 10% in the Sitemorse rankings, which assess the effectiveness of local authority online services.

Key Points

  • Full re-development of Slough online presence
  • User centred website created using focus group research & usability testing
  • RedDot content management system implemented
  • Online transactions using Achieve Forms software
  • Verity search engine integration with advanced search features
  • Email Alerts functionality allows users to receive notifications when chosen content is updated
  • Full compliance to e-government standards and best practice Accessible site compliant to WCAG-AA standards
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