Site ethos

The information on this page is currently under review.

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"

Our customers

Our site and the digital services accessed through it are there for the people who live, work and visit the county. Our customers are the citizens, businesses and tourists who from time to time need the Council for something – exists to serve them where they are at a time to suit them.

Our organisation

Nottinghamshire County Council is large and complex, providing hundreds of services to the people of Nottinghamshire.


We are the guardians of, the site we tend for our customers. It is not our plaything or the place we show off. We use our skills to better serve people – improving customer satisfaction with the Council, enabling services to be sustained or make savings – not our egos.

What we believe about our site

We believe that is the best place for the people of the county to come and do business with the Council, for most of our services.

We know that most people don’t want to have to do business with the Council, or don’t think of the service they’re using as a Council one (country parks for example), so we need to make it as painless as possible.

We also believe that for some services we need to encourage or facilitate discussion or signpost to relevant information being supplied by other councils or organisations.

Our site is a combination of digital service delivery, customer service and communications provided mainly through clear, concise, customer-focused information and supported by discussion and signposting.

We believe we should make digital services so good that people who can will choose to use them, be satisfied with the experience and the Council while the organisation benefits from efficiencies and savings possible through the channel.

To do this we believe:

We should work together

Both internally – making use of digital experts and champions within the organisation – and more widely by co-producing digital services with customers and with partners. By focusing everyone on the customer experience we can improve the quality of the digital service.

We should apply our digital design principles to all we do

  1. Start with needs (customer, not organisation)
  2. Do less (minimal and simple content with relevant links)
  3. Design with data (informed by customer insight)
  4. Do the hard work to make it simple
  5. Iterate. Then iterate again (constantly seek to publicly improve and develop with customer feedback)
  6. Build for inclusion (range of devices, accessibility and literacy)
  7. Understand context (how customers access services in the real world)
  8. Build digital services, not websites
  9. Be consistent, not uniform
  10. Make things open (open, transparent, collaborative).

We insist on excellence through the systems and content making up our digital services

We understand that the customer journey doesn’t only include web pages but offline channels and other systems too. We insist on excellent quality and consistent customer experience through the whole journey.

We also understand that the Council may not be the provider, but the commissioner, of services presented digitally. We insist on the quality and consistency of experience being carried through where others are providing on our behalf.

We understand you can’t solve everything digitally

We know that more people are turning to the digital channel to do business with us and we believe that this will continue to increase and be the easiest way to get what you want. We accept that you cannot solve every problem digitally and sometimes the complexity of providing answers online outweighs the benefit to the customer or business of doing so.

We recognise that sometimes the best thing to do is speak to a real person but we’ll also design for assisted digital for those who can’t use online services independently.

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