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.

Digital solutions

SDS supporting partners to meet accessibility regulations

We are working with lots of our partners to help them prepare for the accessibility deadline by carrying high-level audits, assessing current PDFs for accessibility and training staff.
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Digital solutions

Completely free COVID19 support bot

SDS recently caught up with Paul Shepherd, CEO of We Build Bots, to find out how they are supporting Local Authorities and the wider Public Sector with their COVID 19 bot.
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Digital solutions Research

Working Remotely – Skype for Business Top Tips

SDS have collated a list of the top Skype for Business tips to ensure effective remote working, business continuity and staff wellbeing. With more people remote working during the coronavirus crisis, take a look at our top tips to explore...
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Digital solutions

3 months free access to JAWS, Zoomtext or Fusion for everyone

JAWS reads aloud what's on the PC screen and gives the user a unique set of intelligent tools for navigating and accesses Web pages and all screen content.
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Digital solutions Service design

SDS Response to Covid-19 Outbreak

SDS hope you are all keeping well and staying safe. Here at SDS we are doing our best to progress with all our projects whilst working from home. We can be contacted over Skype, email or telephone. The team is...
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Service design Training Understanding your users

Process Capture and Redesign Workshop

Waverley Borough Council (WBC) is currently reviewing how they respond to customer enquiries and rebuilding processes, putting the customer at the heart.
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Digital solutions Research

Piloting Smart Community Projects

SDS recently attended the first meeting of the Smart Kent and Medway working group. We discussed some potential pilot projects we could work together on, all of which utilise information and technology to improve outcomes for residents.
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Research Service design Understanding your users

LGA announces funding for behaviour change insights

The LGA Behavioural Insights Programme has just announced the 8 councils who were granted £20,000 to develop behavioural insights and new ways to nudge residents’ behaviour. A positive change in residents’ behaviour can reduce the pressure on strained councils. The...
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Digital solutions Training

Sitemorse report on accessibility

You may recently have seen a report issued by automated accessibility checker Sitemorse on Accessibility across local authority websites. The report sets out the position as at Q4/2019 across the sector and examines how local authorities are managing the timeline to achieve compliance with the Public Sector Bodies Accessibility Regulations by September 2020.
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Digital solutions

A Review of 2019

As 2019 comes to an end, we have been reflecting on our busy year. Catherine returned from maternity leave, we gained a new project administration assistant, Rebecca, built our new website, attended round-tables and conferences and we have continued to...
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Digital solutions Research Service design Understanding your users

IVR Hints and Tips

The aim of an IVR system is to enable users to help themselves without human involvement and to route customer to the right call agent, who can satisfy their needs, on their first attempt. An IVR system can have great...
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Digital solutions Service design Understanding your users

Delivering Digital and Technology for Local Public Services – iESE Conference

Dom recently made the trip to Church House in Westminster to take part in iESE's autumn conference. The conference itself brought together people from different public authorities and agencies to discuss and share the various digital projects that have been ongoing across the sector.
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Digital solutions Understanding your users

Improve your link strategy with Campaign URLs

SDS conducted a Google Analytics training session with colleagues from the Communications team at Tandridge District Council. After taking the team through the basics of understanding their Google Analytics data, we quickly identified a crucial metric that could really help them with their social media campaigns.
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Digital solutions Research Training

Move over ‘Smart Cities’ make way for a ‘Smart Kent’

Hats off to Kent Connects for a great Smart Cities conference! The excellent collection of speakers helped us to understand how the Smart City agenda is relevant to local authorities and how we at SDS can get involved. Lost in...
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Digital solutions Research Understanding your users

Chatbot Customer Frustrations

Chatbots are capable of supporting key service areas. In particular, they are aimed at high-contact areas with repetitive enquiry types. Also, chatbots can improve the user experience by providing a seamless journey The key requirements for a chatbot in local...
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Research Understanding your users

Housing advice website customer journey analysis

Sevenoaks District Council requested an analysis of their housing advice web pages with an emphasis on improving how customers reach specific housing forms. We created personas to illustrate the customer journey for a customer who would be homeless tonight and a person who could be homeless in 56 days.
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Digital solutions Research

Local Market Management and Booking System Best Practice Research

Gravesham Borough Council recognised an opportunity to improve market traders experience by implementing a market management and booking system for Gravesend Borough Market. SDS completed a best practice research project on their behalf.
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Digital solutions Service design Understanding your users

Service redesign using the customer journey

Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council (TMBC) are redesigning processes by capturing the customer journey. This is to gain a clear understanding of the end-to-end steps to provide services to residents.
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Training

Usability Testing Training

Smarter Digital Services hold a series of workshops every year, and on request, to share our knowledge and help local authorities be more efficient and customer focused. A popular training session that we have been delivering is usability testing. Continuously...
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Digital solutions Service design

IVR messaging for new waste service

We are assisting Tunbridge Wells Borough Council with IVR messaging for their new waste service which will be starting at the end of September. As the calls to the Council will be substantially higher during the initial period, SDS have been asked to assist with IVR messaging, scripting and routing.
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