Late last week, after many months of hard work, we launched the brand new website for the National Assembly for Wales.
Well, I say ânewââŚ
Earlier this year, we won the contract to redesign and redevelop the NAfW website www.assemblywales.org, but instead of implementing a new content management system, we would be working into their legacy CMS system. This would give significant cost savings.
One of our tasks was to improve the usability of the website. We used many sophisticated techniques to ensure it would be easy to navigate. We started with a content audit of the existing site to help us determine the depth and breadth of the site and categorise the types of information that the Assembly needed to present (and the stuff they didnât!)
Then we developed a suite of personas – based on real people who use the website â and scenarios of use and user journeys for each of these. This ensures that everything going forward is based firmly on a User Centred Design approach. We interviewed many types of users, including AMs, journalists, and members of the public to find our exactly what they needed and how they wanted to use the site.
Once these two stages were complete, we could then use the findings to redevelop the information architecture (site map) and create a set of wireframes that explain each key page in detail and the way the users will interact and travel through the site â making their journey as easy as possible. Wireframes really do help save time and money on all web projects as amendments can be made quickly and cheaply, before the âlook and feelâ or coding is developed. Itâs a very agile and cost effective approach.
Then we moved into the design phase. After consultation, we presented three distinct creative routes. The Assembly project team gathered thoughts and feedback and the final creative direction was decided upon. This design was then implemented into the CMS, and the resulting templates were accessibility tested to ensure everyone would be able to use and enjoy the content on the new site.
Then came the mighty task of applying the design to the content â thousands of pages of information.
After one more round of accessibility testing, the new site was launched without a hitch thanks to the hard work of many people from S8080, The National Assembly for Wales, and our project partners Method4. Thank you everyone, it was an immense task.
You can see the new website at www.assemblywales.org
âWeâre very grateful to S8080 for the hard work theyâve put into this project, and weâre immensely pleased with the final product. From the outset, they stood out head and shoulders above their competitors, with their down to earth attitude and excellent project management skills. They took the time to understand our needs as an organisation, and now the result is a clean and crisp design and a new site architecture that is helping visitors to our site find what they are looking for and enjoy the site experience.â
Iwan Williams, Media, Brand and e-Democracy Manager
National Assembly for Wales