• led by the Digital Experience Team at Renfrewshire Council

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Digital Experience programme

In the age of dependence on the internet, a trustworthy, reliable and transparent digital experience is a must-have for Renfrewshire Council.

The better we make our digital experience the easier it will be for our citizens, local communities and staff to access and use our information and online services.

The context

Digital Experience (DXP) is how people interact with us online.

Our digital experience is key to support the delivery of valuable information and services.

A successful digital experience solves real problems and creates value and positive experiences for our citizens, local communities, and staff. In turn, it enhances the efficiency of our services and improves the way we work.

Digital experience includes:

  • websites
  • apps
  • social media channels, for example Facebook and Instagram
  • digital communication mediums such as emails, web notifications and chatbots
  • voice device technology, for example Alexa and Siri
  • digital advertising, for example Google ads
  • wearables such as a smartwatch
  • digital signage

At Renfrewshire Council, we predominantly use websites and social media to make information and services accessible to our users. We have more than 140 websites, including 100 school websites. The most visited websites are Renfrewshire.gov.uk, intranet, online customer portal (MyAccount), and Paisley.is. In 2021, these four websites attracted 2.6m users who each visited our websites 2.2 times in average. The number of users is significantly higher than from pre-pandemic levels, which confirms an increasing and consistent reliance on information and services provided online amongst our Renfrewshire communities.

However, while Renfrewshire.gov.uk and other supporting digital channels have become the place to find information and services, it is not often a quick and enjoyable experience. We asked our users what they thought about our digital channels and they shared their frustration with us.

They highlighted that they find it hard to navigate between pages and websites and search for the information they are looking for. They expect content to be easier to find and digest and the user journey more intuitive. Although they value the content published across our websites, they find these channels not intuitive and dry. Overall, our users want the same quality of experience with us as they receive from the corporate sector.

The vision

Our vision is to develop a seamless, integrated, consistent and personalised digital experience across all channels and devices. We will implement this vision to meet the needs of all Renfrewshire communities.

Theme 1: user experience

The service should be easy to use, understand and feel intuitive. It should feel like a joined-up experience regardless of the platform being accessed or device being used.

The online and offline experience of Renfrewshire Council should feel consistent and reflect Renfrewshire’s brand and values.

Improved search functionality and congruous content will enhance the user experience. Providing opportunities for self-service and personalisation will contribute to positive user journeys.

Theme 2: accessibility and compliance

The service should allow access and flexibility for all, this includes those with impaired vision, motor difficulties, cognitive impairments or learning disabilities and deafness or impaired hearing. Content and design should not require adaptation for most. For those who do need to adapt content, the service should support (e.g. screen reading software).

The local authority has a legal duty to protect citizens personal information. To do this, the service should be secure and protect users’ privacy.

Theme 3: ease of use / equal access

Currently the web channels convey inconsistent information. Users and staff need a single source of truth when interacting with the Renfrewshire digital experience.

Not only should the information be consistent; it should be trusted, clear and easy to understand.

The service should be easy to access, and everyone should have equal access. This includes members of staff accessing internal content.

Theme 4: governance / maintenance

We need to understand who is responsible for building, managing, and maintaining our digital channels.

All our services include subject matter experts. These people should be consulted regularly regarding the accuracy of content and feel empowered to take more ownership of their content.

Our content management should be synchronised across our channels to ensure consistency for our end users.

Maintenance of our digital channels should be easy, and people need to feel empowered to amend/resolve minor issues.

Support and resources should be readily accessible to service teams who are responsible for delivering digital services.

Our digital channels need to be adaptable. Having the capacity to be flexible to the changing needs of our users is critical.

The strategy

Started in 2019, our strategy focuses on two areas of work until 2025.

Consolidate our digital channels

Our digital landscape is underpinned by too many websites managed by different teams. These sometimes compete against each other for the same audience and can carry contradictory information. They also struggle to apply content, design and technical standards, making them not well-structured, accessible and consistently recognisable as Council-branded. Simplifying our digital landscape is a necessity.

We will develop a new Renfrewshire.gov.uk that will absorb many of our current websites and become the flagship and nerve-centre of our content and online services. This will allow us to centralise content and effectively maintain quality and accuracy.

More about this objective

Protect the integrity of our digital experience

Working with other digital services across the Council, we will introduce new processes to support this new approach to digital experience developments. This will mean that everyone benefits from innovations.

We will also develop guidelines for employees and partners. They will cover a broad range of web standards and be housed within The Thread. These standards will, for example, ensure future solutions are:

  • aligned with the strategy
  • consistent and integrated with our digital channels
  • compliant with web regulations

The team

The Digital Experience team is composed of 3 digital and content experts. We work closely with Digital First, ICT and other services to deliver the objectives from our strategy and support your projects.

We bring on our digital partner(s) when additional knowledge is needed to deliver the right digital experience solution.

To receive digital experience support and advice, make a request on The Thread.


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