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Mendip District Council develop Channel Shift focused website with GOSS specialists

Mendip website and mobile site

Channel Shift specialists at GOSS Interactive helped deliver a new PC website and mobile website for Mendip District Council underpinned by an invigorated website strategy. The successful project met all expectations, set the foundations for further developments and is heralded as a success by the project team at Mendip.

A new future proof Web Content Management System

Mendip District Council’s previous website had been relatively static with no dedicated resource for its development or management for years. The content and its management system was out-of-date in terms of meeting the needs and functionality of the web team. Mendip District Council knew that with changing technology and changing customer expectations they had to drastically improve the website to meet these demands.

Mendip District Council went through a tender process to procure a new Content Management System (CMS). They identified GOSS Interactive as an excellent choice, not only for the quality and functionality of GOSS iCM (intelligent Content Management), but also because of the Channel Shift process that enabled GOSS specialists to support the new project. This included scoping the project, developing personas, engaging with the Senior Managers and Members, developing a new Information Architecture (IA), wireframing and graphic design followed by implementing the new website and mobile site.

A major issue was that the old website was so out of date, it only achieved a SOCITM rating of 2★ (out of 4★) in 2012, and 1★ in 2013, so choosing GOSS with the most 4★ and 3★ in the UK market also made sense.

Lucy Mitchard, ICT Officer (Web), Mendip District Council adds, “We wanted a website which is easy to use for customers and a Web Content Management system that is effective, future proof and has great support from the contractor. We really liked the work ethic that we got from GOSS, their experience of Local Government and their track record of creating new functional and meaningful websites.”

Channel Shift and project delivery

GOSS Local Authority consultants worked closely with the Mendip District Council project team from the start to ensure smooth delivery of objectives.

Lucy continues, “Without the GOSS consultants we would have struggled going through this process. The whole GOSS project team were excellent with the tight timescale we needed to turn around this project. The working relationship we have established is a really good one, and is working really well for Mendip District Council. The strategy produced from the Channel Shift process will be invaluable to us.”

One of the key objectives was to deliver an exceptional PC website and mobile website that serviced the needs of customers’ first and had good foundations in place to build upon.

Lucy adds, “We needed a good base to start with and GOSS took this on board and helped us to produce a functional website that we can build upon. We now have and use statistical information to back up decisions made and have the tools and skills to work with other access channels as a whole to deliver better Council services.”

Adoption across the council

As well as having a great looking and functional website, it is also important that it is easy to maintain. The simple user interface for content editors has also been a hit with the web team.

Lucy continues, “GOSS iCM is very easy for content editors to learn and use. This reduces queries to the web team and means that editors can concentrate on creating great pages rather than having to master the tools. The training services GOSS offered were really good, the trainers were excellent and made learning GOSS iCM as easy as doing your online shopping – it was easy to then relay this training to the other GOSS iCM editors and put it into practice.”

Further developments in planning

Phase one of the project has now finished successfully. The team at Mendip have many ambitions for their website and digital service delivery. These include rolling out the next version of GOSS iCM version 10 when it is released in August 2013, rolling out subsites to community groups who had this service with the previous contractor, linking Capita epay with the free forms package that comes with GOSS iCM and looking into Microsoft SharePoint integration.

Lucy concludes, “This journey was a really busy, hectic and enjoyable experience and we are really glad GOSS came out on top with the procurement process to guide us through it. What we have achieved is amazing considering where we started. This would not have been possible without GOSS, Mendip’s project team and GOSS iCM editors at the Council.”

Dave Witts, Transformation Practitioner, GOSS Interactive, adds “It was a complete pleasure working with the team at Mendip. They have worked so hard to ensure the tight timescales we had with the project were met. When difficult decisions had to be made they always made them quickly and effectively. They really helped us implement our Channel Shift and User Centred Design for their new website. We are really pleased with the outcome of the project giving the Council a new website that stretches the bounds of the technology whilst delivering an experience for their customers that will really help them exploit their Channel Shift opportunities going forward. We look forward to continuing our partnership with the team at Mendip to ensure their new website is everything they always need it to be.”

Contacts:

Pete Stevens
0844 8803637
pete.stevens@gossinteractive.com
http://www.gossinteractive.com