May 12 2017

A new look website for Natural Resources Wales

Natural Resources Wales

S8080 recently had the pleasure of working with Natural Resources Wales (NRW) on a comprehensive and ambitious user experience design project focused on improving and enhancing their public facing website.

The challenge

Although the website was packed with informative content, feedback suggested users were having trouble finding content and information and were having to resort to contacting NRW through traditional channels. Four key elements of our user experience design brief was to:

  • Improve information architecture (IA) and search visibility
  • Improve layout and template structure
  • Improve NRW’s link with recreation in Wales
  • Improve delivery of content on mobile devices

How we approached the project

Improving the site structure

In the initial stages, we went back to basics which generally involves printouts, sticky tape, a blank wall and a huge pile of Post-it notes – it’s all very analogue.

We took the existing IA, adding each key section to a stack of Post-it notes and recreated the sitemap of the website on the wall. Over time we organised, re-organised and chunked information together, rethinking ambiguous terminology and section headings and tested, iterated and simplified the user journeys.

Our final IA decisions were influenced by NRW personas (based on real users and analytical data) which gave us ‘top task’ journeys to simulate when testing the final IA structure. The new IA was shared with the digital team and stakeholders at NRW and following collaborative feedback and improvements, we developed a revised version which we validated by performing an on-line Tree Tests (Tree Testing is a technique used to evaluate the findability of content within the information architecture).

For a typical Tree Test, participants are given a task and are asked to navigate through a tree menu structure to identify where they believe they would find an item or piece of information. The Tree Test study gave us positive results and invaluable, unbiased feedback on areas for improvements such as cross linking or simple labelling changes.

Sketch to prototype

With the new IA tested and iterated, we could move onto the visual phase, rapidly creating wireframe templates using industry standard prototyping software, balsamiq mockups.

The key to success in this phase is to temporarily ignore colour palettes, imagery and graphic design and concentrate on the usability of the layout – the visual hierarchy of elements on the page and the terminology used, to assist the user.

The NRW website holds a vast amount of information and although we needed a suite of templates to suit different types, we were conscious that to many would reduce the benefit of introducing memorable design patterns across the website. To befit the wide-ranging audience with varying online capability, we created 3 key template types: Homepage, Service and Recreation.

The Services template type would be used for sections that had a specific end goal or transaction, such as a payment, licence or permit renewal, or informational content, such as what to do in response to flooding. The Services template group has minimal graphic embellishments and typically wouldn’t require photography or promotional areas.

The Recreation template type would, in contrast to the services template, have more visual appeal, allowing more use of imagery and encourage the user to explore and interactive with section content. This template group would be used for campaign pages and sections such as ‘Days out’: A section that showcases places to visit in Wales, including NRW’s visitor centres and attractions.

The Homepage combines elements from both the Service and Recreation templates and displays an oversized search box, flood warning data and a ‘most popular’ listing, dynamically generated based on user’s top-tasks.

Natural Resources Wales templates

High fidelity graphics

With the IA and wireframes finalised, we started the visual design to develop a single creative approach that has two distinct roles: 1. Simple service design with minimal visual clutter 2. A visually rich campaign template with imagery and interaction.

So these template types could exist together in one website, we created a masthead full-width strip that would appear across all templates. The masthead strip contains the page heading and intro paragraph. Attributes such as background colour and the branded graphics can be toggled on or off within the CMS giving the administrator control of the level of creative detail. This flexibility allows the services template to be simplified while retaining the consistent global masthead.

A strong brand and compelling photography of Wales allowed our design team to create dramatic campaign and centre pages for the ‘Days out’ section, aligning NRW’s recreation pitch with any modern tourism site online.

The inclusion of custom web fonts means the online presence can faithfully replicate the offline collateral, building stronger brand recognition and the use of custom SVG icon sets allow the NRW team to add high quality iconography as the content develops.

A fully responsive design has been rolled out for the new website with much of our design time focusing on mobile users, ensuring a truly inclusive experience across devices.
Natural Resources Wales mobile

Agile and smooth running

With any large project, careful management helps keep things on track. The project management team at S8080 worked closely with NRW during the planning stages to ensure all risks where highlighted and mitigated before any work started.

With many stakeholders and users feeding into the process and NRW’s existing development team, Method4 working on the build, collaborative working and meticulous progress tracking was critical to the success of the project.

Together with NRW, our project management team developed an agile approach to the management of the project. In the first instance, a product roadmap and a series of sprints (work phases) split into daily and weekly tasks were planned. These sprints would be reviewed internally daily, reviewed with NRW weekly and a stakeholder ‘show and tell’ meeting would be held every 2 weeks.  When possible, the meetings would be video or Skype conference calls with screen-share walk-thoughts as the UX design progressed.

Our design team also use online collaboration apps such as InVision to prototype designs and collect group feedback at key review stages of the project.

The S8080 team are extremely proud of the part we played in delivering this new user focused website, working closely with the digital team at NRW and the technical team at Method4 to deliver our ambitious, original vision in a very tight timescale.

naturalresources.wales

“This was a big team effort, with lots of input from colleagues from different teams and feedback from over 100 external customers that took part in our online survey. We’ve been lucky to work with two fantastic local digital agencies – the brilliant team of designers at S8080 in Swansea and the excellent developers at Method4 in Cardiff.”

Heledd Evans Digital Manager

Apr 28 2017

Why is ISO 27001 so important to our public-sector clients?

ISO 27001

What is ISO 27001?

ISO/IEC 27001 is the de facto international specification for managing information security.

Organisations that are ISO 27001 certified have a comprehensive management system that provides assurance of the confidentiality, integrity and availability of data and information they handle.

The policies, processes and procedures that make up this management system are scrutinised and tested annually by independent 3rd party auditors who have the power to withdraw the certification if things aren’t up to scratch.

S8080 have been ISO 27001 certified since 2015, but many of the security controls have been in place since 2001 when we first achieved the ISO 9001 quality standard.

Confidentiality, integrity and availability?

When we handle any type of data for our clients, which can range from paper based records through to immense databases of confidential information, there are three ways we need to care for it.

  • Confidentiality – we will keep the data secure and ensure only those who are supposed to access it, can access it
  • Integrity – we will make sure the data in our care is correct and accurate and does not become corrupted or contaminated
  • Availability – we will ensure that the data can be accessed when it needs to be accessed

Why is ISO 27001 so important?

This all sounds very simple when written down in three bullet points, but consider how things could go wrong with each one. We’ve all shuddered at the stories of data loss, ICO fines and the ensuing PR nightmare. It’s happened to the biggest organisations in the world.

We’ve helped organisations urgently unpick the mess of a compromised site… their previous agencies weren’t focused on security aspects and these poor clients had some very stressful days as a result. Enough said!

  • For example, if your website collects information using an online form, is it encrypted as it’s being sent to the webserver? What about when it’s stored? Or is it in a format that anyone can see?
  • When was your website built? Is your CMS up to date with the latest security patches or could rogue code be injected destroying your website and data? Has it ever been penetration tested to see if hackers could access the administration area, deface your site and download your confidential databases?
  • What happens if your hosting goes down? Is it back up in a matter of minutes or will it take hours or even days? If you site becomes unavailable at 10pm on a Sunday evening, who is going to fix it, and when?
  • What could a disgruntled ex-employee or contractor do to your systems? When was the last time you audited user access rights on your CMS? Or do you all share the same login?

How do our clients benefit from ISO 27001?

Each of these scenarios, and many, many more have considered and addressed in a detailed risk assessment and specific policies, procedures, checklists and guidelines have been written to protect against the issues identified.

Our public-sector clients are confident that the digital systems we design and build for them are secure and comply with legal and regulatory requirements.  They know that our approach to systems design and development follows international best practice, is up to date and is continuously improving.

They have seen our business continuity and disaster recovery plans that explain that even if our offices are razed to the ground, their systems will be unaffected, their project managers will be immediately available and our development team will be up and running within 3 hours.

They know their information assets are being well managed by people and processes that are regularly tested by the most stringent information security auditors in the country.

But at the end of the day, for most of S8080’s clients, it’s just one thing less they have to worry about.

Oct 13 2016

S8080 now a Registered Umbraco Partner

infra-blog-large-a

After working with the Umbraco CMS for many years, we are proud to announce that S8080 are now a Registered Umbraco partner. Being a registered Umbraco partner helps us keep to the forefront of the latest Umbraco developments.

Our experienced team of Umbraco developers have delivered many high profile and complex .NET based websites for public sector and private sector clients including the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), HM Cabinet Office, CITB Construction Skills and Ministry of Justice.

Umbraco is one of the most popular Web Content Management Systems on the Microsoft .NET platform. It’s open source, meaning you don’t need to pay licensing costs. It’s also a very powerful and yet easy to learn CMS that is highly extensible.

It’s great to be part of the Umbraco family and we look forward to working with Umbraco over the coming years.

 

Mar 27 2013

Dezrez – digital illustrations

Dezrez – digital illustrations

  • Design
  • Digital illustration
  • Digital strategy
  • Branding
Nov 1 2012

CITB – CSkills award email design

CITB - CSkills award email design

  • Email design
  • Email broadcast and analytics
  • Digital illustration
  • Designs
  • Strategy
Sep 26 2012

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

duke-of-edinburgh-award-website

  • Flash
  • Website build
  • S8080 CMS
  • Banners
  • Information architecture
  • Analytics
  • Accessibility
  • Bespoke web development
  • Database integration

Live site: www.dofe.org

Sep 18 2012

Audit Commission – One Place

Audit commission

  • Digital illustration
  • Designs
  • Website design
  • Templates for your CMS
Sep 15 2012

Total Engine Support www.tes-uk.com

Total Engine Support www.tes-uk.com

  • Flash
  • Digital illustration
  • Designs
  • Website design
  • Website build
  • S8080 CMS
  • User centred design
  • Information architecture
  • Analytics
  • Accessibility
  • Research

Live site: www.tes-uk.com

Sep 15 2012

e-Crime Wales 2010 – Summit emails

e-Crime Wales 2010 - Summit emails

  • Digital illustration
  • Designs
  • Strategy
  • E-mail
  • Viral
Sep 15 2012

Audit Commission

Audit Commission

  • Flash
  • Digital illustrationDesigns
  • Website design
  • Templates for your CMS
  • Usability
  • Accessibility
Sep 15 2012

DezRez

DezRez

  • Flash
  • Designs
  • Website design
  • Website build
  • Templates for your CMS
  • Banners
  • Information architecture
Live site: www.dezrez.com
Sep 14 2012

The Grammy Awards – Digital illustration

The Grammy Awards - Digital illustration

  • Digital Illustration
  • Designs
Sep 14 2012

Neset – Drupal web design and development

Neset

  • Designs
  • Website design
  • Website development
  • Templates for your CMS
  • Drupal content management system
  • Drupal custom web development
  • Drupal multilingual sites
  • Information architecture
  • Analytics
  • User needs & persona development
  • Wire frame development
  • Usability
  • Accessibility

Live site: www.nesetweb.eu

Sep 14 2012

30ParkPlace – web design and development

30 Park Place

  • Designs
  • Website design
  • Website development
  • Templates for your CMS
  • S8080 content management system
  • S8080 custom web development
  • Information architecture
  • Analytics
  • Wire frame development
  • Usability
  • Accessibility

Live site: www.30parkplace.co.uk

Sep 14 2012

Civitas Law –web design and development

Civitas

  • Designs
  • Website design
  • Website development
  • Templates for your CMS
  • Content management system
  • Custom web development
  • Information architecture
  • Wire frame development
  • Usability
  • Accessibility

Live site: www.civitaslaw.com

Sep 14 2012

Leicestershire Healthy Schools – web design

Leicester healthy schools

  • Designs
  • Website design
  • Website development
  • Templates for your CMS
  • Content management system
  • Custom web development
  • Information architecture
  • Wire frame development
  • Usability
  • Accessibility

Live site: www.leicestershirehealthyschools.org.uk

Sep 14 2012

Luceta.com – web development

Luceta

  • Designs
  • Website design
  • Website development
  • Templates for your CMS
  • Content management system
  • Custom web development
  • Information architecture
  • Wire frame development
  • Usability
  • Accessibility

 

Sep 14 2012

Primasil – web design and web development

Primasil

  • Analytics
  • Information architecture
  • Wire frame development
  • Usability
  • Accessibility
  • Designs
  • Website design
  • Website development
  • Templates for your CMS
  • Content management system
  • Custom web development

Live site: www.primasil.com

Sep 14 2012

Environment Agency – Wild Fishing Wales

Wild fishing Wales

  • Designs
  • Website design
  • Website development
  • Custom web development
  • Analytics
  • Information architecture
  • Wire frame development
  • Usability
  • Accessibility
  • Email design and broadcast

Live site: www.wildfishingwales.com

Sep 14 2012

Standards Commissioner for Wales

Standards commissioners website

  • Designs
  • Website design
  • Website development
  • Templates for your CMS
  • Content management system
  • Custom web development
  • Analytics
  • Information architecture
  • Wire frame development
  • Usability
  • Accessibility

Live site: standardscommissionerwales.org