Wider user-testing with a larger group revealed some eye-opening results - 40% of users could not work out their bin collection day - they either failed or abandoned the task.
Fortunately, mySociety were on hand to help find a way forwards. They ran collaborative cross-functional workshops bringing together subject matter experts, customer service, web and IT resource from across the Council. Having viewed the user videos, the challenge was set - what should the user journey be? The Director, Head of Service and Service Manager from the Waste & Streetcare team were all involved in understanding the challenges and defining the solution.
mySociety delivered a set of mock-ups of how the bin collections page should look and the user journey on the website. These were used by Tunbridge Wells to come up with a new solution (below).
The page gives a great deal more information than the old one, but it is much easier to read and understand. The right and left hand navigation menus have been removed to avoid confusing the end-user. The page tells the user what they want to know immediately - collections are on a Tuesday. Graphics help the user understand which bins are collected on which week and the page tells them the date of their next collection for each type of waste.
Returning to the wider user testing, the improvements were significant (right), almost 90% of users were able to complete the task to find out when their bins were being collected.
This has not been the end of the story. In the run up to Christmas 2013, incorrect information was sent to residents about changes to bin collections over the Christmas and New Year period. With no chance of sending out a new leaflet, the website became the preferred choice for getting the message out there.
The two weeks over Christmas and New Year saw the page take almost 15,000 views. At 9am on Boxing Day, with all of the Council offices closed, the page was receiving one hit every 16 seconds. More than 700 users signed up to email reminders.
The call centre expected to be inundated with calls and it's true they were busier, with more than 600 calls taken but without the improved bin collections page on the website, their task would have been far more difficult, if not impossible.
It is estimated that the bin collections page on the website, over Christmas alone, prevented calls that could have cost more than £50,000 to deal with, had it been possible to mobilise such a resource at short notice.
So impressed have Tunbridge Wells been with seeing the difference great web pages can make, the Project Team have been asked to make recommendations to improve all Waste and Streetcare services available via the website.
Download the Case Study here >>