New Websites Project Creating new websites for North and west northants


We're creating two new unitary websites for North Northamptonshire Council and West Northamptonshire Council. This is a major project involving colleagues from all eight county, borough and district councils working alongside our delivery partners FutureGov and Deeson. You can find out more by reading our research highlights page, key messages page as well as our FAQs page.

Our first key milestone was the creation of two beta sites in January 2021. We're now focusing on the two unitary sites' go-live date on 1 April 2021.

We'll be publishing regular Weeknotes below detailing progress with the project.


📒 Sprint 11 - Go live!

After 5 months of intensive effort, the two new unitary sites went live on 1st April - westnorthants.gov.uk and northnorthants.gov.uk.

Releasing the sites to a public beta testing phase a few weeks before go-live made the transition easier. We were able to promote them to our customers and hold many internal presentations to staff and stakeholders to manage expectations of our Minimal Viable Product. We had included a feedback tab on every page using software called Hotjar and encouraged people to use this to let us know of any issues. This allowed us to fix any showstoppers before go-live.

The transition had been well planned. A week before go-live we started to rebrand our sovereign websites, using our new unitary logos and colours.

The day before go-live we switched over the beta links to live. Certain online services such as countywide payments were closed down to allow them to be reconfigured for the new financial systems which would be in place.

Changes to links from sovereign sites to unitaries were being made on our edit sites in the week leading up to the big day. By the end of 31st March, we were ready.

1st April - The big day

  • 8am: new online services which had been created on the unitary sites were published
  • 9am: sovereign websites started to publish links to services on unitary sites
  • 10am: sovereign homepages were changed, news items published, social media links changed, and homepages frozen
  • Midday: retro – the whole team got together online to run through the checklist and make sure nothing was missed

All in all it could not have gone more smoothly. Great planning, attention to detail and regular communication. Teamwork!

The following week was a bit of an eye-opener. There was no time to put our feet up. This wasn’t a standard website launch - it was the week after the creation of 2 new unitary councils. Staff had been moved into the North or West… this was a big change. There were lots of requests for changes from services, content updates and uncertainty about how to get things done. Despite all our messaging about how to make requests in the new world, we still have much to do to make sure staff are clear.

We are building one new team to manage the sites, at least for the next few months as we have to complete the migration from sovereign sites to unitary sites.

Although lots has been accomplished in the last 5 months, this is just the start. We’ll be combining the project to complete migration with business-as-usual to manage the new and old sites. It’s all about keeping quality levels high, building resilience into the team and a sense of direction and ownership.

Phase one though was a massive success. The aim now is to transfer the great team working, team spirit and camaraderie into our day-to-day work in our new team…

Richard, Future Northants PO

📒 Sprint 10 - Beta Live!

As I write this we have just entered Sprint 11 with just 4 working days left to go to Vesting Day – we are nearly at the end of Phase 1! And after all the hard work of the team I’m so excited to see the sites go public and continuously improve as they are used as a ‘front door’ and platform to improve the experience for our customers in the new North and West Unitary Authorities.

Beta Sites Launch to the Public

In this sprint we have seen the launch of the test (beta) sites to our staff and to the public and it's certainly paying off, with the really useful feedback we are receiving to help improve the content and customer journeys and as extra eyes testing everything. Ale, Konalee, Sue and Fiona (and product owners - Richard, Robert and George) have been busy interviewing customers, staff and members too, to obtain feedback and improve the user journeys.

Please keep providing feedback to us, as we move forward with the work. For the web team, Vesting Day is just the beginning and we must now create transfer the necessary content from our sovereign sites on the new sites, alongside transformative work to help provide the best possible customer experience. The sites now provide a great platform for us to do this transformative work.

In our recent Show & Tell, we talked about people's hopes and fears for the websites - part of the success of the agile approach is being open and upfront about concerns and working together to resolve - so we are aiming to look at each and every piece of feedback and respond where relevant. But please do bear with us as we juggle the many priorities for the work.

The content team, led by Dave, Steven and Iain, are working continuously to update and agree content with services – this week they have been busy working with elections and formatting and uploading privacy notices (there are over 150 of these!), ensuring they remain accessible in the process - a massive job done and their creative and problem solving skills have been used to the max - brilliant!

There has been lots of work going on by our technical colleagues, Mike, Lee, Hannah, Kevin, and Kiri, in the background - the sites will be robust, secure and supported giving us all confidence needed to launch in the public space

So, what else have we been up to?

Developing the Design System for our MVPs

Creating a solid design system for the new sites has played a central part in ensuring they could be set up quickly and to meet the ‘Must Have’ , ‘Should Have’ etc. criteria required for the two MVPs - the design system is the first place where new elements such as the search bar and headers are built and tested. User stories are used to help define requirements and to prioritise. A ‘user story’ is something that a user (a customer, a colleague or a member of the web team for example) needs to do and also describes why they need to do it - e.g. As a member of the public I want to find out what day my bin is collected.

You can read more about FutureGov and Deeson’s work to develop this in A Website rebuild and reorganisation starts a new era for Northamptonshire

Being on the Future Northants side of the project I thought I’d also take the opportunity to give you an update on some of the work running alongside the core websites development.


You’ll start to see the sovereign websites and some other key services being re-branded from the 25th to the 31st March - Northamptonshire County Council and South Northamptonshire Council, Corby Borough Council and Daventry District Council have been first to make the change – all sovereign sites are being partially re-branded to have clear unitary identity but to also minimise confusion for our customers as the sovereign sites are all staying in place (with much of the content). Rachel, Kiri, Chris, Lawrence, Andy, Kevin and others too have been working hard, agreeing designs, liaising with suppliers, testing and juggling a multitude of requirements and actions here!


A big shout out to Lucy, Dave, Steve, Mike S, and our teams working on the eForms changes for Vesting Day – the work includes developing new eForms for the MVPs, changes to existing sovereign forms (majority of District and Borough eForms will stay ‘as is’ on Day 1) and re-branding all appropriately as well as coordinating the changeovers with the page updates on Vesting Day. We have hundreds of forms across our sites, so this work is no mean feat, as each change must be tested and signed off by each form owner in advance and the whole change process coordinated and communicated!


Rob and Dave have been working with Nicky in Learning and Development to produce a bespoke new eLearning accessibility course – this will be available on the new iLearn platform from late April/May – it is designed to help guide everyone who needs to produce accessible content (we must comply with Accessibility regulations for anything published online – websites and intranet - so good for everyone to do) and will be a mandatory course for content editors.

We’ve employed an independent assessor, The Shaw Trust, to carry out audits of the sites from the 6th and 8th April for the North and West sites respectively – we’re keen to keep our high rating (we hit 100% accessibility compliance for the first time this week) in place and we're ambitious to be two of the top 10 websites in the country for accessibility rating (the competition starts here!)

For the first time both sites have scored 10/10 on the automated accessibility checker. The link issues for these reports have been tidied up and improvements to SEO are being made.


This has been such an important element of this project and we have our experienced communications and change Management colleagues working closely with us to support the Websites InfoBurst session, services updates and obtaining sign off of the news and information pages for the beta sites and main websites – a big thank you to Amjad, Craig, Cara and Katie A for their hard work on this!


In Local Government we must all follow procurement rules and regulations and in this last sprint there have been some key processes and orders to get over the line – so am most grateful for all the recent support here from Ngozi, Sue R and Josie with web POs, letters and more!

Next Sprint

It's Launch Day’ - need I say more!

We go live with the new sites and transactional services from the morning of the 1st April alongside ticking off all ‘changeover’ activities – these include publishing new corporate pages on the sites and shutting down and re-directing the equivalents on Sovereign sites; and a similar process for eForms – our eForms are the gatekeeper for payment engines and other transactional processes therefore testing of the live set up is an important part of this process.

So, this project continues into Phase 2 – immediate plans are to continue to work on improvements to the websites and fixing any customer journey problems. We have started to put together a development roadmap and will be working on this in April to plan out the next phase of the work to take us to full decommissioning of the sovereign websites in due course.



See you on the other side as they say!

Juliet, Future Northants PM

📒 Sprint 9 - 5 weeks to Vesting day!

Hello All,

For those that don’t know me, my name is Sue Stachini and I am the customer experience coordinator within the FN programme and working as part of the research team in the website project.

I put my hand up and said I would ‘have a go’ at the week notes for Sprint 9. My only claim to literary achievement so far is a poem published as a teenager.

It's all very busy and exciting here within the project team. As I type there are only 14 working days to go to vesting day. That’s has come round quickly don’t you think?

We've been building up to the launch of the public beta website, which we're very excited and proud to say will be live to the public on Monday 15th March for both the North and the West, but we were delighted today to announce this was launching internally to all our internal colleagues to look at, from today.

We had our show and tell for Sprint 9 today and had a whopping 130 people join the session which is a record.

User Research

I thought I would share a little bit about our part of the project. Ale has been busy creating new tasks for our customers to complete in the research session, and a research form for the unmoderated testing of the public beta.

Fiona ( Fi) has been busy scheduling interviews with our residents and councillors, with myself and George providing support by scribing and observing the sessions. We are holding two interviews on a daily basis this week.

Fi’s interview skills are now honed to those of an investigative journalist. (Watch out Stacy Dooley!)

Our colleagues in Democratic Services for the North and West contacted all councillors by email and invited them to take part in the User Research sessions. We are delighted at the positive responses we've had. At the time of going to press, three sessions have been scheduled and the first councillor interview is on Monday 15th March, the same day the Public Beta trial is launched.

All of the content design work undertaken by the design, developers and product owner has really paid off, we have had lots of positive feedback from our residents. As someone who has been with the project from the early days it's really great to see how the journey has unfolded over the weeks and months.

Communications will be sent out to all residents on Monday to encourage them to have a sneak peek and give feedback on the new website as well. You will start to see information on the side of buses and on radio and social media... even on Spotify! Don’t forget to take a ‘selfie’ of yourself with any communications you see.

If you want to find out more you can always go to the recording below.

Have great weekends and roll on Sprint 10 !

Thanks for reading.

Sue Stachini

📒 Sprint 8 - 5 weeks to Vesting day!

The 8th sprint is now done, marking around 16 weeks of work on this project complete, with only 5 weeks left to go till the sites are launched.

My main focus this sprint has been on the designs for the homepage - “wait, shouldn’t the homepage have been done a bit earlier?!” I hear you say. Yes it may feel a little bit backwards to not work on designing or building the homepage until this point, but this has been done very much on purpose.

There are several reasons for leaving the homepage to this late stage. These include obvious reasons, such as the fact that the homepage is built up out of an amalgamation of other features and pages of the site; service pages, news articles, alerts and the promotional marketing. The goal of the homepage is to bring this information to the forefront, and there’s not much point in doing this till those other features are designed, tested and built. Would you illustrate your book cover before beginning to write the book?

The homepage is also one of the most overthought and contentious areas of any website, so how better to not overthink it, than to just not think about it till near the end of the project! Funnily enough the homepage is so often overstated that people forget a lot of users may not even see it, or if they do, give it more than a brief flicker of attention before moving on with their goal. With so much traffic coming through search engines, often the homepage is a lot less pivotal than we are all led to believe.

What makes the homepage important is that it's where we get to really demonstrate the brand and show off a bit more. Following GDS design principles, and common sense, we don’t want to flood a user with images and unrelated content on important service-led pages while they are in the process of trying to find out about child social care, or get a new bin delivered - these users are there to get a job done and our primary goal is to help them get it done in the easiest way possible. However, being selfish, we also have two brand new brand identities and designed websites we want people to see, the homepage gives us a place to do that and do it bigger than anywhere else.

The homepage has been designed with the user at the center and built on top of the shoulders of giants - we are not trying to reinvent the wheel, as anything completely out of the ordinary to users may actually cause more friction. As I already said, homepages tend to draw lots of attention internally more than externally, as mentioned during our retro for this sprint it could risk falling prey to: “a camel is a horse designed by committee” so our goal throughout the design process was to avoid this being an issue.

Now while my focus this sprint has been centered around the homepage, there of course has been a whole load of other work completed by the team. This includes:

  • setting up holding pages on the final URLs
  • running more private beta user testing sessions, covering our recent designs and features such as news, the homepage and search
  • doing a thorough user acceptance testing and quality assurance testing of the search functionality, followed by bug fixes and enhancements.
  • development of the previous sprints design of the news landing & article page into the design system and the backend CMS
  • building the file download slice, to allow users to easily download files.
  • building a dashboard in the CMS to show content editors what content is out of date and needs review
  • deploying the previous sprints work into the beta, including the cookie banner
  • creating a microsite Policy & the cookie policy content

While we are obviously aiming to get the websites in the best possible shape for vesting day in a little over 5 weeks, one of the other things we have begun working on is to start to plan out what beyond vesting day looks like and set up a backlog for further development and iterations that will start the moment the site goes live.

Chris; Product Designer

Next sprint

We will be focusing early on in the sprint to get the beta site ready for a live public beta, this includes, building out the homepage designs and ensuring the meets required accessibility standards, as well as continued content creation and migration.

Our show and tell

Watch our show and tell for more in depth discussion of what has been going on in Sprint 8.

📒 Sprint 7 - 2 months til Vesting Day (15 February 2021)

In Sprint 7 the development team focused on a mix of tasks: from tying up loose ends with the Drupal user workflow to thinking about some key things we as a team need to prioritise for the website launch for Vesting Day.

This sprint there were a couple of sentiments that the core team echoed at the beginning of our agile ceremonies;

  1. Wow! We have come so far considering all the obstacles that have been in our way! Launching two Beta Sites for both the West and North considering the sheer amount of stakeholders (from all 8 sovereign authorities) and the fact we are in a global pandemic and are all working remotely. Contrasted with...
  2. It’s February… 2 months til vesting day *panic*. We have a lot to work through and prioritise - specifically as by this time next Sprint we will have the initial website homepages for the core team to review.

So let’s dive into a few highlights which happened between Thursday 28th Jan and Wednesday Feb 10th of Feb.

This week we:

  • Brought the content, design and development workstreams together in the sprint planning sessions and trialled a new approach where the content and development team call out highlights, prior to the entire team planning the week ahead. This will be something we continually finesse to ensure we get the most out of our core time together, actually planning and enabling rather than dwelling on the risks. Note: we have found doing a retro for approx 20-30 mins and then sprint planning (60 mins) has worked rather well for our team to date. The team seemed fond of the Valentine’s Day retro which featured in this sprint but Spotify’s instrumental classic love song mix has since been vetoed.
  • Met with the new Assistant Chief Executives to get a decision about the website logos and branding elements for go-live. Both Guy and Rebecca are very keen to keep an eye on this website project as it is one of the ‘flagship’ projects where you have staff across all 8 local authorities working cohesively together.
  • Held a session with the product owners and comms team to co-design and discuss the new North and West homepage designs, which we will test with residents, in the next sprint. It was a great way to visualise the key elements which have been verbalised or discussed over email/slack/teams.
  • Had the weekly content catch-up and focused on what we needed to have ready for the MVP launch on Vesting Day April 1st. From the public beta onwards (March), pages that cover content on legacy sites will simply link back. As we know almost all of the service areas are still going to be undertaking a period of change relating to the combination of the processes, teams, structure etc. within the next two year period. This session also gave Steven and David, FN content leads, a chance to find out a bit more about each service's priorities and get an idea of what sort of features/functionality could be added to the backlog post vesting day.
  • Had a synthesis session of the feedback from residents and councillors. We have been reviewing shared feedback across participants and in this session we review the wants vs. needs of the session and decide how best to iterate the websites - either from a design and development point of view, or from a content one. Since we first heard from people (from Nov 2020), we have iterated a number of things, including the way people can file a complaint - making it easier and taking less clicks... to how they can actually get in contact with the council - making it clearer why a form needs to be in place as part of the MVP.
  • Juliet (lead project manager) met with the various workstream teams across the wider unitary programme to talk about the project and make sure everyone understands the safe and legal approach that we’re taking, its implications, and answer questions etc.
  • We also met and engaged with Kevin and Kiri to start to define the disaster recovery and business continuity plans which are key document drafts we need to have shared with stakeholders for discussions in Sprint 8.
  • My personal highlight and end to Sprint 7 was the show and tell and this week. We were so grateful to have 98 people join us to hear all about the FN website team updates - staff across the 8 local authorities joined to hear about the project and discuss the changes for Vesting Day. If you watch the video you’ll notice some magical references as Steven cleverly demoed the CMS using Harry Potter Potions.

What we’re thinking about...

How do we best capture stakeholder feedback without the expectation that it will make the pre go-live MVP list. We don’t have the answer, but to enable that but we have started a slack channel for the core team to be able to share and add it to the enhancement sheet for consideration. Here, the development team can analyse the requirement, benefit and risks of the suggested enhancements and then determine if our business analyst, Michael needs to add a ‘Must have’ user story to ensure we are all in-sync. But let’s see how we go with the Homepage next sprint as this is usually a hot topic!

Next week

  • Releasing Drupal workflow updates, favicon, cookie banner enhancements, search, updated postcode checker API to the beta test site in preparation for the public beta phase.
  • Keep on testing our news prototypes with residents, councillors and staff
  • Looking at better ways of splitting up the content currently held under “Community and Safety”, “Environment”, “Culture and Tourism” and “Health, Wellbeing and Sports” which all kind of overlap with each other.
  • Content team are writing 404 and no search results pages. Reviewing content principles and creating a new standard words document that contains all our content style choices. Also collecting and working on content for: culture and tourism, council tax and business rates, finance and procurement, planning and building and housing.
  • Start investigating the API for the councillors meeting notes and back office system (ModernGov), so that we can work out if we need to integrate any content into the new unitary website pages or if this is separate all together.

Konalee; Delivery Manager

📒 Sprint 6 - The Golden Beta (1 February 2021)

This sprint (sprint 6 - would you believe?!) went incredibly fast. Partly because we dusted off our uneventful Christmas hangovers for 2 uninterrupted weeks of 'let's do this.' But mostly, because we achieved The Golden Beta. I can't tell you how much a published site raises the morale of a team, even if that team is already pretty supportive and celebratory, like this one here. It's like you finally have something tangible that exists - "look, we made a thing!" As if all the previous user stories, designs, kanban boards, batches of code somehow aren't real until the domain is alive and proudly holding its space in the web-mosphere.

Well, we all took a nod of encouragement from that. There was some confidence and reassurance creeping into the cracks where there used to be doubt and fear. The more wary of us thought, "crikey, this is actually happening" while the seasoned pros thought, right then, before we get too carried away, let's get some solid constructive criticism! Of course, Ale and Fiona have been testing with users from the get go, but now we had The Golden Beta (that's what we shall call it from now on, by the way), it was a great time to hold it up and shake it. We had 150 people on Twitter who wanted to get involved. Brilliant. Let's get it in front of them.

So, what did people think?

The headlines were that the websites were clean, easy to use, easy to find information, but... well, a bit boring. Are we worried? Nope! That's the beauty of agile, you create the opportunity to listen so you can adapt to feedback. So hearing this gave us a chance to dig deeper and find out how we can improve for our users.

The risk of having a vanilla-flavoured, minimalistic design is that there is often no allure to pull people in; it wasn't sexy, as one user put it. And while most of us agree that council tax and bins are very rarely sexy, confidence is definitely built by flair, and perhaps more crucially, by a strong identity. Several of the users commented that they expected to see something they personally connected with, such as smiling people, or historic landmarks that would provide something recognisable about their culture and place.

Reflecting on this feedback, I still admire the way the design team have led with such a clean and neutral approach. It takes after leaders in the digital public space, such as Gov.uk, who put accessibility at the forefront of needs. In addition, it is much easier to add character and identity to a neutral space, than start with something strong and provocative which may divide opinion, or need to change entirely when met with feedback. As it stands, we have a really solid foundation to build upon, to provide the familiarity and connection that users are looking for.

We did a load of other cool stuff this sprint too, but you'll have to watch the video for that.

Kiri; Digital Lead, NCC

📒 Sprint 5 - The sprint for Beta (14 January 2021)

We are already up to Sprint 5!

Sprints are what we call the grouping of tasks completed over 2 weeks to develop the websites further. We agree as a team what work is needed, the work gets done, then we review how well it went. It allows us to break up a large project into manageable outputs. Part of this project for us is learning all the lingo for this way of working.

Beta get ready

Sprint 5 is all about creating our private Beta site.

Beta is basically a test site that will continue to be developed right up until we make it live. It gives us something real to see, play with and test as a team and also open that up a little wider for testing with real customers. By go-live we should have ironed out as many issues as we can and have a product that we’re confident meets the requirements set down for our Minimal Viable Product (basically, the simplest site we need for go-live).

The aim of the Beta site is to give people an idea of the:

  • basic site design
  • branding
  • homepage
  • page layout,
  • look and feel of the content
  • overall customer journey
West Northamptonshire Council website homepage in Beta

By creating this test site and then holding our show-and-tell meetings, we are working in the open, giving everyone a chance to see what is being created and an opportunity for input. The idea is that there are no surprises when we make these sites live in April.

Protecting the customer journey

The main goal for this site when it goes live is that we protect the customer journey. The navigation for both the North and West sites will lead customers back to our existing sites for the majority of services for day one.

For example, one customer journey will be: Homepage > Council Tax > Pay Council Tax and then give options to link back to your existing district or borough website to make the payment.

If people aren’t sure which site to go to, we are developing an option to input a postcode and be taken to the relevant council site - that will be developed in the next sprint.

Highlight of the week

The highlight of this sprint for me was our lead content editors for both North and West being trained to use the new Drupal content management site, creating pages and adding real content. This feels like a milestone and the real start of the creation of the websites.

Sprint 5 - Show and tell video

Richard; Product Owner

📒 Sprint 4 - No time for Christmas (22 December 2020)

Communication will be a huge part of this project. These weeknotes and show-and-tells can provide updates for council staff and councillors. We have now started to communicate with the public, asking for people to register their interest in helping us design our new sites.

A big part of our approach involves FutureGov's user testing. This means members of the public can give us feedback on things like page layouts, the use of icons or how content is written.

The benefits of user testing include:

  1. Confidence we are building sites based on insight from people who will be using them.
  2. An opportunity for people to get involved and feel included.
  3. Issues with the sites found more quickly, so we can make fixes and improvements.

We’ve built a really good camaraderie in the project team. We’re made up of web and digital professionals from each council, all with our own specialities. We have project support from the Future Northants team. Our partners at FutureGov, who specialise in service design, are leading the way. Everyone is working really well and supporting each other – it’s created a great atmosphere in which to work and learn. Which is good… as we have many months of work ahead on the project!

There’s a huge amount of energy in the team, driven by the tight timescales and the amount of work to do to deliver two new sites for vesting day on 1 April. We're all mindful we have to protect the customer journey when the new sites are launched and ensure it's still quick and easy for people to complete tasks and find information.

After that, we will have up to two years of migrating and updating content and the process of transforming services will continue beyond that. We’ll be talking to, consulting and testing with our customers every step of the way.

Highlights in the past week include:

  • the creation of our content publication scheme
  • a demonstration of how the new sites are coming along in development
  • updates on findings from user testing

We have also made progress on the accessibility and microsite policies we’re developing and agree the new content needed for vesting day.

Sprint 4 - Show and tell video

Richard; Product Owner

📒 Sprint 1 & 2 (15 December 2020)

Welcome to our first set of weeknotes! If you’ve not come across the idea before, weeknoting is the practice of publishing a blog about your work; explaining what you’ve been up to, generally on a weekly basis. We plan to share our notes publicly so people can learn what we’re up to and share in our journey. As a team, we want to test the assumption that working in the open makes things better.

Not many of our team have written weeknotes before but we’ve all committed to trying it out - at first we may not manage a post every week and it may take time to build momentum. Ideally we’d have started this at the very beginning of our project but if 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that things don’t always go to plan!

Future notes won’t need to cover such a time period and other members of the team will go into more detail about specific things we’ve found interesting or challenging.

More about the Project

We’re working together to deliver two new websites as part of the Future Northants programme - one for the North and one for the West. There are ambitious plans for the two new unitary authorities and it’s important we provide new websites that help residents find information and access services easily. We also want to lay strong digital foundations, to make sure the websites can be integrated and form part of more complex user experiences in the future, as the authorities change and transform.

The project is due to run over a couple of years - allowing plenty of time to design and develop the new sites iteratively whilst carefully unpicking, migrating, decommissioning the services and content of the eight existing websites. Just like all good local government digital projects we’ll be taking a user-centred, design-led approach to the project and working in agile sprints.

The team is made up of a very awesome bunch of people from some of those eight existing authorities, who bring a whole range of knowledge about the existing organisations, and setup of the current sites and services, along with my colleagues from FutureGov and Deeson. We bring our own experiences from other local authorities and specific skills and expertise around design, technology and change.

Long Stories. Shortened.

For your sanity as a reader and mine as a fledgling writer I won’t go into lots of detail of what we’ve explored in our first 3 sprints. Suffice to say we’ve covered a lot of ground in a short space of time (and without many of us leaving our houses). I would encourage you to check out our show and tell slides or the recordings linked below if you’re interested in finding out more about the journey so far.

Sprint 1 - Show and tell slides / video

A rapid discovery of the work done to date, the start of research and analysis of the current websites, laying out and documenting our technical approach and being clear on our vision.

Sprint 2 - Show and tell slides / video

Mapping out and understanding the content publishing landscape, testing early prototypes, setting up research activities and writing and prioritising user stories.

Sprint 3 - Show and tell slides / video

We've continued to iterate on much of the work above but narrowed down our design and technical decisions enough that we feel confident to start building the basic foundations in code.

What we’re working on now...

Our main focus as a team right now is putting the building blocks in place so that we have the first versions of the two new sites ready to be tested with users in the new year. We’ve already tested early prototypes and mockups with users and the feedback is positive - so it’s been good over the last week to start to see these early prototypes develop into code. 🎉

We’ve also been putting a lot of work into prioritising which content and services need to be migrated ready for vesting day and trying to find the right ways to communicate our plans and key messages to various stakeholders across the organisations. We’re hoping that having the initial iterations ready in January will mean we can do a lot more ‘showing’ rather than ‘telling’ and this will help make everybody feel reassured.

All in all there are a lot of moving parts to juggle at the moment. The team are all pulling together to try and get as much done as we can before a little break over Christmas. I am very much looking forward to a mince pie (or five) to help recharge the batteries!

Stuart, Product and Tech Director