Council IA and UX
Councils have specialised information needs.
It is important to understand the needs of the individual council and design the information architecture and user experience accordiningly. It is not possible to devide a one size fits all solution - each council will have their own requirements. That said, there are a number of driving forces on a council website and we will address each of the below.
The primary aim of any website should be to serve the interests of the people using the site, and this means understanding what they need to do and helping them to do that. Council websites were once arranged around different service areas, however, the focus is now very much on addressing the needs of users.
In practice this means highlighting functions such as:
- paying bills
- communicating with the council
- accessing key pieces of information.
Breadth of services
Councils offer a very wide range of services, each with their own needs grouped around:
- information provision
- streaming of relevant news and events
- form downloads and form completion
- commication via forms
- related activities for that service.
With this in mind it is possible to design an architecture for a site based around the services, with the flexibilityt o address the specific needs of each. This can be done by providing tools which will help with the above areas.
Council meetings with their associated agendas and minutes are very important from the perspective of community engagement. It is important that these "council meeting" events are able to address the following items:
- listing in a what's on so that people are aware
- advanced pubishing of agendas
- final publishing of minutes.
Convivial Council addresses each of these areas out f the box to ensure that a council build gets off to a good start. However, this is only a starting point and the final structure of the site may change according to the needs of the council.