Walthamstow Town Hall

We recently introduced plans for a new website for Waltham Forest. As part of the work, we've been analysing feedback from residents on our current website. Here are 7 areas where we need to improve and how we'll do it.

1. Content

Content is not consistent across the site. In places, it is not always clear what we are asking you to do. We want the content to be consistent, written in plain English, and accessible, clearly explaining information so that you understand the process.

2. Design

Currently the design is not great on mobile devices, could better reflect the Council and be more contemporary. We want to build a mobile first website, with a flexible design which adapts to different devices, and reflects the diversity of the Borough. The design must meet accessibility legislation so that it is inclusive to everyone.

3. Search

The current search could be better including federated searching, predictions and near matches. We want the search to be the main entry point, allowing you to use natural language so you can quickly find what you need from us.

4. Data and analytics

Capturing data insights to show how we can improve the digital experience is difficult, isn’t always joined up and we are missing capturing some insights. We want to build in analytics and reporting into the new system, which will provide us insights to make informed decisions and recommendations for future improvements.

5. User journeys

It is not always clear what we are asking you to do online or is not clear how to get there, so you may have to resort to calling us instead of self-serving online. We want to clearly define the user journeys, have clear calls to action as to what we want you to do online and use data and feedback to continue to make improvements.

6. Multiple microsites

Microsites are costly and time consuming to maintain. They require constant patching and often have poor rankings in search engines (SEO). We want to build in flexibility by having a “family” of sites with a consistent brand, user experience and meet different user groups needs through a range of templates.

7. Content management system

The current platform is no longer fit for purpose as a content management system. We are running on an old version which will come to end of life in November 2021. We want to build on new platform which offers far more flexibility for the Council so that we can capitalise on the latest digital technology trends and best practice.

What happens next?

Now we've identified these issues, it's time to action them.

These improvements and requirements have been logged in our virtual board. We'll be working in an agile way to pick them off one by one and then we'll iterate on them to ensure we are building something that residents need.