In February 2016, Spacecraft Digital started working with Birmingham City Council’s customer services team to begin the research and design process for creating a brand new birmingham.gov.uk. Here are the initial steps we took on the design process.
Step 1: The process started with research, including a design questionnaire for key stakeholders which draws out a basic brief. We then look at web analytics and call centre analytics to create a data driven brief.
Step 2: The design start meeting helped us understand the design goals and what the council already understands about user needs. We also wanted to ensure that up to date, quality content was prioritised as very high. We also discussed branding, colour and typography. Setting out user scenarios was key. We used Bulky Waste as an exemplar to map out the user journey.
Step 3: Eye tracking technology was used to generate data on the early design work. At Spacecraft, we use 'style tiles', as well as colour ways and typography to test with. This helps drive data on how users respond to different elements of a design.
Step 4: Wireframes and black and white mock ups helped us test layouts early - before any creative design starts. We use these help articulate the user journeys, so we can test with users early and get feedback.
Step 5: HTML mocks ups are created based on the outputs of the research, which we can then test with real customers and stakeholders. These mockups help users actually interact with a page - well before it's integrated with the Jadu Continuum CMS and XFP products and before real content is created. This process provides users with a real feel for how the pages will look and respond on devices.
In the two short films below, Rachael Johnson, UX Designer at Spacecraft Digital, explains the steps in more detail.