Skills: CREATE, Better business, Sustainable communities

Citizen-led redesign of local authority website

Suffolk County Council is to transform its online presence. It wants to make its website and online services work much more effectively for the people who use them.

In order to ensure that the new website will be as citizen-focused as possible, SCC commissioned Cultural Intelligence to conduct research with a wide range of local people including people from seven marginalised or ‘hard to reach’ communities.

We recommended research in two phases, Phase 1 was an Exploratory Phase in which we explored in depth what works well and less well for people using Council and other service and information based sites. Phase 2 will be a programme of User Trials to ensure that the website in development meets the needs of its users.

Cultural Intelligence recruited a panel of 40 Suffolk people who attended workshops completing a packed two hours of intensive exercises, games and discussion including working live on the web to explore different aspects of their web experience. Their web browsing was recorded and analysed to produce a uniquely revealing set of insights about what makes a user journey difficult and what can make it easier.

The study produced a written report packed with insight and recommendations which have been used to brief designers who are working on producing a ground-breaking new local authority site.