Leah Thompson, our Digital Information Officer, tells us about the web team’s migration process:
As a lot of you should (hopefully) be aware, we are part way through our 2 year migration project, moving our current website on to a new, modern website platform.
This isn’t just a case of copy and pasting the current content and then making the sites live. I am going to briefly inform you all of the detail that we go in to when moving your current sites over to the new platform.
Research and discovery
This document, completed by the service, outlines the business needs, target audience, any particular features required and expected delivery dates. It asks what the key success criteria of the new website will be, so that we have something to measure against.
We use Google Analytics to analyse your old website and review things such as page views and search terms. This information helps us to improve your website and work out which of your web pages are the most popular, and therefore what people are trying to do on your site.
Other customer data
We look at phone call data, ask the service what their most popular questions are, and we also analyse any customer feedback we’ve received for the service website. We may ask customer advisors what their top 5 questions are for a service, or ask what customers frequently email in about. These would then be used to formulate the user needs.
Competitor Website research
We research similar websites to gain inspiration on how the new website should look and to see how their navigation works compared to ours.
We send out another survey to the intended audience in order to find out what they think needs improving on the current website, we get some very helpful and interesting feedback from this. Negative feedback is the most constructive feedback for us!
We use the briefing document and all the research we’ve carried out to gather up a list of the user needs for the site, ensuring that we cover every need and expectation of the users who will be using the site.
We document user needs as follows:
I want to...
So that I...
So, for example, a user need for the early year’s site we have just migrated was: ‘As a childcare provider, I want to be able to find links to external websites, so that I am provided with extra useful information.’
Existing navigation testing
We test your existing navigation by sending out a survey to the intended audience, asking them to complete key tasks (based on the user needs).The results that we get back help us to create a new and improved navigation.
We spend a lot of time creating several mock ups of what we think the new site should look like (this is my favourite part of the migration!) ready to present to the service. Here is an image of me getting stuck in to the new upcoming Country Parks website mock ups; you may have seen some of our mock ups on boards if you have walked past the Web Team area.
We carry out a workshop with the service, presenting our mock ups and new navigation. Using the feedback that we have got from the service, we improve the mock ups and navigation and get ready to build the website.
Once we have been provided with the websites content and images and have got the final designs signed off, we start building the site.
Ideally if time and funding allows, we will test the new site once it is live with real users to see how they interact with the site. We can pick up any minor usability issues this way and make small tweaks to how the content is organised or how the pages are designed to ensure that the website works as it’s intended to do.
It doesn’t stop there...
You may think that once your website has been built that that’s the end for us and it is handed over to you, but this isn’t the case. Our web administrator monitors our website for spelling errors, uptime and downtime, broken links, analytics (page views, search terms etc), short cut URLs and customer feedback.
We also provide bespoke training to each service once we have created your website, allowing you to edit the content on your website. Those of you that are already web authors will have experienced my emails and phone calls when doing daily approvals on your web pages in order to make sure that they remain tidy and are formatted correctly.
If you haven’t yet had web author training but would like to edit your web pages, please email email@example.com and we will fit you in to one of our training courses.
Remember to check your web page in when submitting it for approval.