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Camden.gov.uk is the entry point for all online services of the council. Users can access information, apply for services, and log in to their Camden Accounts.

Project Details

Project Story

I was contracted as a UX designer to help refreshing and re-skinning the camden.gov.uk platform. The site had organically grown over years, had a cluttered design, and proved to be very difficult to find things.
Due to its high traffic and profile, the project required the participation of a large number of stakeholders with often competing interests. For example, the communication department preferred the existing homepage lay-out because it gave prominence to Camden News, while the Contact Camden team wanted to give more space to online services in order to decrease the number of phone calls received.
Working alongside the product manager and product owner, I was asked to manage conflicting interests of the different stakeholders by promoting the customers’ and users’ point of view.

Brief

Key aims of the site refresh project were improving the findability of services and content as well as creating an engaging experience without changing the existing architecture of the platform. I was briefed to do the following:

  1. Re-design all pages ‘ mobile first’ and ensure they are fully responsive
  2. Respect the existing data architecture of the website
  3. Meet AAA accessibility standards
  4. Provide key entry points for the most popular services on the homepage
  5. Remove clutter from the pages and simplify user journeys

Actions

  1. I compiled a competitor review by looking at other recently redesigned council websites e.g. manchecter.gov.uk, westminister.gov.uk, and lambeth.gov.uk
  2. I carried out a number of usability test sessions with Camden users to identify problems and pain points of the current site. I used Silverlight to record the 1:1 test sessions, analysed the results and presented the findings in a stakeholders’ workshop.
  3. I carried out a an open card-sorting exercise Camden residents to define the labels of the top navigation.
  4. I rigorously proposed mobile-first solutions and co-created mobile paper-prototypes with stakeholders. It was a good way to demonstrate limitations of space and the need for prioritization and hierarchy and it eventually helped to change mindsets that were more often than not ‘desktop-driven’.
  5. I conducted a series of workshops with business stakeholders to gather requirements of what needs to go onto the homepage. Despite some heated discussions, I managed to get requirements that considered the customer being at the centre of the business. (Lots of snacks and tea might have helped as well.)
  6. I wireframed the pages and page templates in Axure, tested them with users, and iterated the page designs based on their feedback. We did three rounds of tests and iterations until we had robust insight into of what our users needed the most and how they use the website.
  7. I produced a fully detailed UI specification using axure, a clickable prototype, and high fidelity mock-ups done in Illustrator providing all the visual design elements.
  8. An external contracting company outside the UK was then tasked to build the pages and I have provided build-support throughout the build phase.

Results

The new Camden.gov.uk has gone live on December 2015. I have managed to deliver a refreshed, user-centred and responsive site design prioritizing the services. The new site has received a lot of positive feedback, both from internal stakeholders and - even more importantly- from its users, as proven in numerous test sessions throughout the design & build phase.

In 2015, Camden scooped the Digital Engagement of the Year award at SOCITM, and took the Digital City Award at the Municipal Journal Awards.

About Me

I am Creative

Being creative is about finding the right solution for a problem. I am a curious man, can’t help that, and I love challenges. That’s why I did a Phd after all. I love UX as it challenges my brain all the time. That's my secret: UX keeps me fresh!

I am Friendly

A good cup of tea and a friendly smile is a great way to start a project! OK add a few cookies in the mix. Great solutions come from good discussions and good connections and what better way to do this with a smilie face. Let’s do it!

Successful projects,happy clients and great results