Seven district and borough councils and one county council in Northamptonshire are in the process of combining. Forming two new distinct authorities, they’ll be North Northamptonshire and West Northamptonshire.
At its core is a user and design-centered approach to make the transition as seamless as possible for residents. To make sure the community is not affected during the transition, we’ve been supporting the councils through the build of two new websites, that will help residents find information and access services easily. We’re delighted to be partnering with our friends at Deeson who are working with us as part of the team to deliver the back-end development of the websites. This unitary website project work is a part of a wider digital transformation programme in the county that will take place over two years.
A solid design system
To do this we created a design system that can be used for both North and West Northamptonshire. A solid design system allows us to develop visual elements of the website as individual components, such as the page header, the search bar and page buttons. This way we can design, build and test each component individually, avoiding duplication.
The design system will contain every visual and interactive component that will appear on the council websites. But it’s not only used for building, it also acts as a visual library, where all the components can be used for the front-end and content can be edited through the content management system (CMS).
Making sure the design system is the first place for new and existing features to be developed is one of the digital practices we’re aiming for. This is a simplified version of how that all fits together: