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How we developed our website

Why we changed our website and the process involved.

Why was a new website needed?

The old Lewisham Council website:

  • was eight years old
  • had an outdated look and feel
  • was difficult to use on a mobile phone
  • relied on old technology and sometimes transactions failed
  • had not been reviewed or changed significantly in five years.

What was the cost of the website?

  • User research, testing and visual design cost: £63,516.50
  • Development cost: £124,120 (£84,800 initial build cost + £34,390 additional for functionality refinements)

What was the procurement process for awarding contracts on the new website?

We used the Government Digital Marketplace as a competitive procurement platform for the main part of the project:

Which contractors were used for the new website?

  • User research, testing and visual design: Redweb Ltd
  • Accessibility testing: RNIB
  • Security testing: Blackberry Ltd
  • Website development: Graph Digital Ltd

How many staff members worked on the website?

On average there were five staff members working on the new website from the Communications and Digital Transformation teams.

How will the new website change the way I interact with the Council?

Benefits of our new website:

  • customer-focused and fast loading
  • a future-proofed and flexible web platform
  • reliable online forms, allowing customers to transact easily
  • better experience on mobile devices
  • better monitoring of website functions
  • in-depth understanding of customer journeys
  • improved search and navigation.

Which accessibility guidelines have been followed for those with special needs?

We have designed and developed the new website to be compliant with the international WCAG 2.1 AA accessibility standard, which is required for all public sector websites. This means making sure that the website can be used by customers with a range of disabilities such as:

  • impaired vision
  • motor difficulties
  • cognitive impairments or learning disabilities
  • deafness or impaired hearing.

We have tested the website with disabled users. This testing was done by RNIB usability and accessibility staff trained in access technology. The final report is peer-reviewed. This means the report incorporates their practical and expert knowledge in using and operating a wide variety of products used by people with sensory loss and age-related disabilities.

Which groups helped shape the new website?

We have engaged with front-line members of staff, service managers, specific interest groups such as Positive Ageing Council and HealthWatch Lewisham, and individual customers.

How many services can you use on the new website?

You can access most council services via the new website and associated portals. We will continue to develop our range of online services.

What services are the most popular on the website?

The most popular service areas are:

  • planning
  • refuse and recycling
  • housing
  • schools
  • adult learning
  • parking
  • libraries
  • health and social care
  • registration services.