Tailoring a successful public site
In a time where digital is more powerful than ever, public organisations need to be present and available online. Public organisations are working in a field completely different from ecommerce businesses and other private sector companies, so offering a public service is in a league of its own. Public site users don’t browse in the same way shoppers do and this requires a completely different approach when building a site that works. Your users have different expectations of you, the way you communicate and showcase your service.
Your goal as a public organisation is to be informative and straight to the point. Users often visit your site because they’re searching for specific information, need to upload documents or need to fill out a form. Unlike ecommerce platforms and private businesses that can attract new users through great offers, exciting products and cool advertising, your users are on your site for a specific reason. All in all, you need to make sure your audience gets what they are looking for. Your setup needs to be intuitive to navigate and you need to be clear in your communication.
At DEPT®, when we work with clients that have a need for consistency across several sites, subsites and campaign sites, we build design systems. It’s a great approach for non profit and public organisations because it allows us to make solutions that can go live super fast; speeding up the development process so you can focus on the site purpose and content. The design system also ensures accessibility requirements are handled centrally, therefore requiring less work to be compliant when building new solutions. When using this setup, we also have the opportunity to test quickly. This way we can validate if a certain setup creates value for your business and its users.
Furthermore, design systems make it simpler for your communications team to create content and get it live quickly because everything is template based. This way, you avoid complicated processes. You basically just plug and play.
There is an immense global focus on accessibility and in Denmark, The Danish Digitisation Agency is testing a vast amount of solutions every year. DEPT® builds sites that are compliant with the guidelines, and we give feedback to the Agency to ensure they know how the industry works with accessibility.
The Danish Digitisation Agency is frontrunner when it comes to web accessibility. They test many public and partly public sites on a yearly basis to help organisations fulfil the criterias of becoming web accessible and improve user experience. The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines or WCAG 2.1 defines how organisations can make content more accessible to users with different disabilities such as visual, auditory, physical, speech, cognitive, language, learning, and neurological disabilities . The Agency pinpoints where improvements can be made and recommends how organisations can improve their efforts. An example could be the use of color contrast between foreground and background to make sure that most people will be able to see and read the information on the site or the importance of creating accessible forms to ensure all users have the same experience. Web accessibility is complicated and frightens some organisations as they often don’t know how costly it will be and how much time goes into becoming compliant; similar to the initial fear experienced when GDPR was new to companies.
DEPT® specialises in web accessibility and we work closely with our public clients to build solutions that comply with accessibility demands. We specialize in testing solutions to ensure sites perform well and are easy to manage for users with disabilities.
Design systems help you be recognisable across all your sites. They also make it easy for your users to navigate, providing them with a better user experience. By using design systems, the development will also be done much faster and cheaper because the technical supplier won’t have to start from scratch every time.
As a public organisation, you might think that all the regulations are unmanageable – but you don’t need to fear your setup or the accessibility requirements. If your ambition is to be more accessible, we are more than happy to help you make sure your site is compliant and easy to navigate by users.
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Jonas Roland Therkildsen
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