News

The SDS blog

We provide support and guidance, external challenge, sharing good practice, industry knowledge and practical insights as well as being a valuable resource for councils on the next stage of their digital journey.

Understanding your users Website redesign

Website Information Architecture

SDS have been using a range of tools to assist Tunbridge Wells Borough Council with their website redesign project. Starting with a first click analysis, followed by a card sort analysis and finally a tree sort analysis. These tools helped us to identify users' expectations of where they would expect to find content.
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Service design Understanding your users

Identifying Customer Demand – Folkestone & Hythe DC

Smarter Digital Services have been working with Folkestone & Hythe District Council to identify the customer demand broadly across all services, but specifically within Council Tax.
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Service design Understanding your users

Preparing for the Homelessness Reduction Act

On the 13th February, we facilitated a workshop with Ashford customer services and housing options officers to agree and map out the required process that will meet both user needs and the needs of the new Homelessness Reduction Act legislation that comes into force in April this year.
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Service design Understanding your users

Behaviour Change Revival

At the beginning of January, Dom delivered a series of five training workshops for customer services staff in Swale, outlining the need to shift the way we provide services and interact with our customers, encouraging self-service wherever possible.
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Training Understanding your users

User testing workshop

To start the year off, we invited our partners to a user testing workshop in Ashford where we explained and had a go at doing a user test, covering everything from recruiting people to take part, designing the scenarios to test, carrying out the interview and analysing the findings.
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Understanding your users

Tonbridge & Malling Borough council website user testing

At the end of November we conducted 10 user tests for Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council, exploring residents' views of their website and the My Account function.
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Digital solutions

Press Release: SDS news article for the Public Sector Executive

Catherine Bright, Smarter Digital Services (SDS) manager, explains how a partnership of 12 councils across Kent and Surrey are jointly funding a responsive, independent, not-for-profit consultancy to help them to achieve their digital ambitions.
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Understanding your users

Cambridge City Council – User testing & citizen portal account research

Cambridge contacted SDS to use the team’s expertise to conduct a series of user tests on a selection of their online citizen self-service web forms. Cambridge wanted to explore the customer experience of transacting with the council via the self-service web forms to gain feedback as to how users feel when carrying out a specific task or transaction.
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Training Understanding your users

Really useful workshops – User Research at the Discovery Phase

In July we held the first of our Really Useful Workshops at Swale House which was attended by collegues from several of our partners. This first session - User Research at the Discovery Phase - demonstrated how important it is to speak to your users/customers at the beginning of the project.
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Digital solutions Service design

LGA Annual Conference – Innovation Zone

We attended the LGA Annual Conference in Birmingham and gave a presentation in the Innovation Zone about the services we offer to local authorities.
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Website redesign

Tandridge District Council website redesign

We are very pleased to announce the launch of the Tandridge District Council website on 3rd July after only 3 months in the making! In March, we were commissioned by Tandridge to assist in scoping out their new website redesign. The aim was to reduce the 1,000 content pages down to under 500 whilst giving the website a modern visual style that meets with today's responsive web standards.
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Digital solutions Research Service design

SDS attend the SOCITM conference

The SDS Team were invited to attend the Spring Socitm Conference in London on 27th April. The conference involved a variety of guest speakers from across the ICT sector, local public services and private sector partners. The conference offered a great platform for us to see and catch up with our existing partners (always nice to see some friendly faces!) as well as offering us the opportunity to meet and chat with other representatives, not only from the public sector, to forge new relationships.
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Website redesign

Tandridge District Council Website Redesign

The SDS team have been supporting Tandridge District Council with their website redesign. We started work on the project in March and the new website is due to go live in the summer so it is a fast paced and exciting project.
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Digital solutions

Homelessness Triage Tool

Those suffering with homelessness and with the threat of becoming homeless can now take advantage of a new online homelessness triage tool facilitated by the SDS in partnership with local authorities in Kent.
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Digital solutions

Online Taxi driver knowledge tests for the Sevenoaks, Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Licensing Partnership

Work has been progressing on the online taxi driver knowledge test with over 450 questions in the question bank. Questions cover policy & law, safeguarding, numeracy, highway code and road signs/markings as well as each authorities' local questions covering routes, places and streets.
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Digital solutions Service design

Event App goes live in Shepway

Shepway District Council have now launched their online event management system, with the aim of enhancing user experience, reduce processing times, reduce the number of enquiries and reduce the amount of administration.
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Service design

Garden Waste Collection Process Review

The SDS Team are currently working on a very exciting project with Sevenoaks District Council to assess their current Garden Waste Collection process and look to improve the existing process. The SDS Team have so far engaged with key service representatives and carried out a workshop in order to define and map out the current process for the booking and payment of a Garden Waste Collection by their customers.
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