Smart Dublin An evolved design for a wider audience.
Smart Dublin, an initiative of the four Dublin Local Authorities, brings together technology providers, academia and citizens to transform public services and enhance quality of life.
When the Smart Dublin website was built, the target audiences were government and business. As such, all content was geared towards them. Now, they want to share their work with citizens of Dublin, whom many of their projects benefit.
To make the Smart Dublin site work for a wider range of audiences by evolving the communication strategy, auditing and optimising the website design and content.
To improve something, you have to understand what’s working and what isn’t. Before we got in creating gear, we set about learning as much as possible about the existing site.
We carried out a user experience (UX) and content review that would give us the insight we needed to create an engaging Smart Dublin site for all audiences.
Our extensive UX and content audit included user task analysis, readability, and site navigability. We identified common user types and tasks, then built an empathy map to reveal common issues in the user journeys.
Our audit concluded that the site was inward-facing. The information and design served the internal needs of Smart Dublin more than the external needs of their audiences.
The content was formal and peppered with jargon. While the design hid the impressive results of Smart Dublin projects. These results are for the benefit of everyone in the city, we had to find a way to shine a spotlight on them.
The result of this audit was a deck of actionable findings that would empower us and Smart Dublin to move forward with a unified vision for the website.
Information architecture (IA)
We proposed a fresh approach to the site architecture. Based on the findings of our audit, we restructured the sitemap to improve site navigation and improve user flow.
Leading with smart stories, events and news – in an easily filtered card system – would help to show users the great work that Smart Dublin were doing and how it benefitted them.
Based the Information Architecture we created Content Guidelines. This document would help content creators in Smart Dublin to write content that serves the user’s needs in an efficient way.
Drawing on best practise, our expertise and learnings from our audit, we created a practical and useful guide that covered everything from information architecture and user flows, to tone of voice and grammar guidelines.
We delivered a content training session that explained the guidelines step by step, giving the content creators a chance to ask questions before work began. Once they had written the content, we then suggested edits that could help to take it from good to great.
Working hand-in-hand with the internal team streamlined the content creation process and ensured the site’s content matched its ambition.
A lot of good work had gone into the design of the Smart Dublin site. Our job to build on what was working and improve what was not. We started by refining the existing colour palette to achieve AA standard on the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.
We then created a new typography scale and improved layouts to build an accessible, impactful website that would be engaging across devices and browsers.
The work we put into the audit, information architecture, content and design of the site enabled us to deliver fully realised and actionable XD files to our development team.
Every content type, type style and media format had been accounted for, so there were no surprises that could have delayed the process.
Informed by research and using collaborative practices and innovative methods, we built a website that will help all audiences to engage with and appreciate the valuable work of Smart Dublin.