Our ethos drives everything we do in order to deliver the best and most appropriate digital services to our customers, and support the strategic aims of the Council. We call this Digital First.
"Digital services so good that people prefer to use them"
The site ethos
Our site ethos drives how we build and deliver digital services and adheres to the 10 Digital First Design Principles. Our content ethos feeds into the overall site ethos.
What is content?
When we talk about content we mean words, actions and images on our site, partnership sites providing Council services or being published elsewhere online, such as Twitter.
Customers have come to complete a task and content enables them to do so. They need to consume and interact with our content and they need to understand it.
There is more to our site than content, but without content there is no site.
What do we do with content?
Our content exists for only one reason, to make our customers lives easier.
What do we believe about our content?
We believe content is the facilitator – it is the thing that lets customers do the things they need to do with our digital services. Our content makes up our site along with design and the underpinning technology.
Our content is created from information, tools, discussion and signposting
Whatever type of content it is it will be designed and tested with real customers to make sure it is the best it can be for them.
Our content meets the Content Standard
We use the LocalGov Digital Content Standard as a digital style guide and content quality checklist.
Our content is for everyone
We work to make our content suitable for everyone, whatever their need. This doesn’t mean dumbing down but it does mean being clear and making our content accessible as well as usable.
Our content answers a customer’s question
It should tell our customer the thing they need to know. Our customers want to know:
- is this the right content for me?
- where is the right content for me?
- what is it?
- how do I do the thing?
The content should serve our customers’ needs and not just to meet a business or individual need.
Our content is easy to understand and to the point
Customers do not come to the site to browse but to do a piece of business with the Council. Content should be to the point and easy to understand to help them complete that task as quickly and painlessly as possible. If they want to read more they can but that shouldn’t get in the way of why they came.
Jargon is not acceptable (unless appropriate to content for a specialist audience) and correct spelling and punctuation is insisted upon. We’ll do the hard work to make complex information and services simple to understand and access online.
Our content is original
We do not duplicate on our site anything that is not related to the piece of business the customer has come to do with the Council. If the service is offered by another organisation we link to the information on their site.
Our content can be found
We know our content needs to be easy to find and understand that many people start their journey to our services on a search engine or social media, using words that are common to them. Optimising content to be found online will be part of how we create it, and we’ll use social media and marketing to engage people and signpost them to what they need.
Our content is justified
All content must be justifiable – both in whole (a web page) or in part (words, images etc). Each piece of content must meet a customer need - be vital to them completing a task, in answering their question, and increasing the quality of their experience with our digital services.
We will use analytics, customer feedback and testing to ensure we’re not assuming anything about the quality or performance of our content.