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The future Northants Programme

Future Northants Programme Project
  • Service Organisational design and change
  • Sector Local government
  • Duration 5 months
  • Client North and West Northamptonshire Council

How we used a partnership approach to design and build new websites for two new unitary authorities in Northamptonshire.

Challenge

Seven district and borough councils and one county council in Northamptonshire recently combined. This new local government reorganisation was formed to put resident needs at the heart of two new unitary authorities and better serve the citizens of Northamptonshire.

North Northamptonshire Council and West Northamptonshire Council are now open for business and serving residents and communities across the county. We’ve been supporting this transition, working with staff from the eight existing councils to deliver two new minimum viable websites that help residents find information and easily access services.

Solution

We wanted to use data from across Northamptonshire to create two new fully accessible websites, useful for residents as they adjust to changes.

Working in a multidisciplinary team we did a rapid discovery of the work done to date and analysis of the eight current websites. During Discovery, we also mapped out what content would need to be migrated to the new sites as a priority. Setting up a research and testing panel of over 400 residents, we were able to get feedback on their experiences of using the existing websites and test our early design prototypes for the private and public beta websites.

Creating a solid design system for the new sites helped us make sure the foundations met the urgent needs of residents. The design system contains every visual and interactive component that will appear on both council websites. It also acts as a visual library, where all the components used for the front end can be tested against a range of requirements such as accessibility, variable content lengths and responsive design.

Impact

We designed, developed, tested and iterated the new websites to ensure the best possible outcome for residents, local businesses and council staff. The public beta version of the website launched on 11 March, and on 22 March, both sites scored 10/10 on an automated accessibility checker.

West Northamptonshire Council and North Northamptonshire Council websites went live on 1 April 2021 to coincide with the official vesting day of the new authorities.

We’ll continue to integrate more backend systems and tools with the website and support transformation that matters as part of more ambitious plans for both North and West Northamptonshire’s services over the next two years.

Northants Websites

Working with TPXimpact

Rob Bridge CEO of North Northamptonshire Council
"Simplicity and accessibility were at the heart of our efforts to create this important customer platform for North Northamptonshire that we are proud to launch on this historic day."
Councillor Ian McCord Leader, West Northants Shadow Authority
"We’re genuinely ambitious for the future of West Northamptonshire... By putting digital first it will help to make things easier and quicker for residents and businesses, as well as being more efficient for our staff to work with."
Richard Beards Website and Digital Team Manager, North Northamptonshire Council
“The end result was a powerful team, fully committed to the goal of delivering the sites. We have received many plaudits from within the council about the project and how we have worked collaboratively across all councils.”

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