SOUTH CAMBRIDGESHIRE DISTRICT COUNCIL
South Cambridgeshire District Council wanted to convert its corporate Internet and Intranet sites to an Open Source solution. Based on internal product testing and a review of software options in the market-place South Cambs opted for Drupal. WPP partners JDi Solutions and Artychoke worked together to provide the corporate Drupal solution.
The main objective of South Cambs’ web strategy is to put the customer at the very centre of what they do as a Council. This led to a radical approach to both the design and the construction of their corporate website. Early on a decision was taken to rebuild the majority of pages from scratch rather than migrate pages from the existing site. The main benefit of this approach is that content and page layout can be more easily optimised to support the user experience of the customer; a revolution rather than simply a revamp. Via a customer-oriented configuration of content and features rather than a department-oriented configuration to how the Council provides online information, services and transactions its citizens are more readily engaged and empowered to be self-sufficient in how they interact with the Council and its various departments. Underlying the implementation of this web strategy are concepts such as Channel Shift and Digital by Default
Having presented South Cambs with a number of design concepts and layouts they opted for a minimal design, particularly for the Home page. The corporate website’s Home page displays only nine links to content other than the main menu bar. The nine links are carefully chosen from studying user journeys and searches to reflect the most popular content people want to access. A consequence of the minimalist design and user interface is that the South Cambs site has a far higher proportion of users clicking one of the homepage links than any of our other sites, indicating that users are able to find the content quickly and efficiently far more often. There is evidence that users quickly give up trying to scan busy Home pages and will default to using the search button even through the service they have searched for is available as a direct link from the Home page.
The other benefit of the minimalist approach is that the design and content layout fits well with mobile access via smartphone or tablet, increasingly the preferred devices for access to the web and to Council services available to customers online.
Key project features
- Drupal solution implemented for corporate Internet and Intranet
- Solution provided under a software as a service licence for a minimum of 3 years
- All services provided at a fixed cost from Day 1, including ongoing annual support and maintenance agreement
- Heat maps of user journeys indicates that the minimalist design and reduced number of links both simplifies and improves the user experience
Web Development, Design, Drupal
South Cambridgeshire District Council have worked with JDi Solutions Ltd on many different projects
over many years and have found them to be professional, forward thinking, honest and highly skilled
in everything they do.