Back in 2000 I was involved in the early stages of web site design for a local government department. At the time, there were few similar sites in existence. We needed to find some way to determine exactly what we would present on the site, and the structure of the site.
The client quickly decided that each section of the web site to mirror the way that their customer service team dealt with their customers.
There were a number of benefits to this approach. For example:
- The cutomer service team already gathered information on the areas in which they received most demand. Initially, these were the areas of the site that would recieve most attention.
- We already had leaflets and information packs that dealt with major service areas. Most of these would be releatively easy to translate to online copy.
I sketched out a flowchart for them:
In practice, the boxes at the bottom would have translated into sub-sections of each page or area on the site:
- The “give reasons” sections would provide information on why my client (or anyone else) is unable to help.
- The “refer to other agency” section would become external links and contact information for other agencies.
- The “provide information” section would include self-help information, advice, standard letter templates, tips etc.
- The “take action” section would include our contact information and online forms.
Sadly, the project did not proceed beyond the planning stages.
Your comments are welcome.