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.

Research Service design Understanding your users

LGA announces funding to 8 councils 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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Website redesign

Redesigned SDS Website

This summer we decided to redesign our website and freshen up its look and feel. Why not visit the website and let us know what you think: https://smarterdigital.info
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Digital solutions Training

Google Analytics Training

Tunbridge Wells Borough Council have a new waste contract with some key changes happening at the end of September. The TWBC Communications Team asked SDS for some Google Analytics training to enable them to understand the traffic through the TWBC website.
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Understanding your users

Tandridge Usability Testing Online Waste Forms

SDS have completed the user testing of Tandridge District Council’s new online waste forms prior to going live. The user test focused on the ‘Report It’ function leading to online waste reporting forms including fly-tipping, dead animals, assisted waste collections and missed bin collections. We spent a day user testing on a laptop and mobile phone with six volunteer residents.
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Digital solutions Research

Skype for Business Research and Focus Groups with Stakeholders

SDS have reached the half-way point in the Skype for Business project for Mid Kent Services. The key aim of the project is to capture and analyse feedback from staff and other data sources to assess how well the partnership is utilising Skype for Business and what more can be done to maximise the benefits the service can provide teams.
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Digital solutions Research

Telephone Contact Centre Best Practice Research and Workshop

SDS carried out research into contact centre best practices and alternative customer service channels as well as a review of Gravesham Borough Council’s IVR telephone system. The research involved a comparison of IVR menus with other councils, a list of top hints and tips, demand management good practice and case studies of IVRs from the public and private sector. SDS also included examples of channel shift.
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Understanding your users

Website content analysis user testing

Dartford Borough Council wanted to gain user perspectives about their website. SDS tested the website with live users for ease of navigation, user-friendliness, the language and tone as well as the look and feel of the website. SDS engaged with 5 service areas, Enforcement and Regulatory, Waste, Housing, Planning and Environmental Health.
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Understanding your users

Housing Register – User Research

The SDS team have been working with the Local Government Association (LGA) in order to deliver six workshops (ranging from user research and user testing to developing a comms plan) to benefit five of their partners who have received funding to deliver digital housing and homelessness services to their residents, like the project delivered across Kent in 2017.
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