Identifying stakeholder and user priorities​

West Berkshire Council wanted to better understand the needs of their customers and stakeholders – based on in-depth user research – to provide recommendations as to how to build a new quality and inclusive services directory experience.

Project results at a glance

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Stakeholders engaged through workshops and 1-2-1 interviews
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user survey responses recorded
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detailed recommendations report covering ten key analysis themes
"It has been a real pleasure working with Invuse on this! You have been thoroughly professional and insightful throughout this project. It has been incredibly refreshing to work with your outstanding skills to deliver exactly what we needed, in the timescale and budget we set!"
Sam Shepherd
Programme Manager: Local Communities, West Berkshire Council

Identifying stakeholder and user priorities

Invuse were engaged by West Berkshire Council to provide expert and independent research to explore the needs of all users and stakeholders around digital community signposting. The information gathered informed recommendations which were then used as the basis of development of future options on a local service directory.

Based around 13 key research themes including Information Architecture (IA), Accessibility, Relevance, Search and Language, our user researchers conducted a number of stakeholder and elected member group workshops, 1-2-1 interviews, user scenario tests and comprehensive user survey. Following the research and our extensive analysis of the results, our findings were collated and supplied to West Berkshire Council with a series of recommendations, resolutions and next steps.

“The people who live in West Berkshire are so invested. They really care about where they live and really care about resident's needs.”
Cynthia Sipes
Invuse UX Researcher

Results of the project

  • The research Invuse conducted showed some important areas for the Council to consider when providing a service directory for digital community signposting. This included the structure, navigation, accessibility, language and content of the directory itself as well as how a directory was integrated and aligned within other webpages.
  • Invuse identified 10 key user personas for a local Services Directory which ensured the research was grounded in the reality of user experience. Each persona had their own profile, expectations and needs when using a Services Directory. Running through scenarios with the different personas were an integral reference resource for our eventual conclusions on future options.
  • We identified and recommended two solution pathways for the West Berkshire Council to weigh up in their response to the research. Invuse provided additional information to assist the Council in planning their next steps.
  • A full handover of the research and recommendations report was delivered to the West Berkshire Council team, with a presentation explaining the major areas of focus.

Project at a glance

Local people have a range of needs which lead them to search, find and connect with local services and community-based support. West Berkshire Council has a number of statutory duties to ensure that information and advice are available to residents and community. 

The aim of this research project was to review the needs of all stakeholders who use the ‘West Berkshire Directory’ as the free, online signposting service providing information on a wide range of topics and services for adults, families and children across the district.

The project aimed to:

  • Identify the stakeholder and user needs around the West Berkshire Directory.
  • Identify any user experience issues and determine the levels of priorities for areas of improvement.
  • Complete comprehensive user research to test and highlight areas of opportunity to West Berkshire Council.

Project methodology:

To gather user views, our team scheduled five stakeholder interviews, three stakeholder workshops, two focus groups with elected Members, conducted a user survey, and a user scenario test to gather the opinions and needs of the key stakeholders and users.

Project outcome:

  • Feedback from users captured by Invuse helped identify a number of opportunities to improve the user experience of the existing Services Directory.
  • The research gave West Berkshire Council important information on the local needs around digital community signposting. This will help the Council determine how best to meet these needs in future.
  • West Berkshire Council was given information on how service directories have been used in other places across the UK to assist in developing their future options.
  • The result of the work that Invuse did for West Berkshire Council is that the future of local digital community signposting will be informed by a solid evidence base of need and best practice.
“The enthusiasm, professionalism and expertise that the whole Invuse team brought to this project made it an absolute pleasure to work with you all. Thank you for delivering such a robust and comprehensive piece of work to schedule.”
Sue Butterworth
Programme Officer for Healthy Communities, West Berkshire Council
“Working with the West Berkshire team has been a pleasure. The project uncovered a clear picture of user requirements to move forward and defined a roadmap for continuous improvements.”
Ryan Taylor
Invuse Programme Director

About West Berkshire Council

West Berkshire Council provides important local services for around 155,000 people across the district. They provide education, housing and social services and are responsible for roads in the area and we provide rubbish, recycling and other waste services.

The Council employ around 1,500 staff and currently have three main offices in Newbury as well as smaller satellite offices across the district. Their vision is to make West Berkshire an even greater place to live, work and learn.

West Berkshire is an area which offers beautiful countryside, thriving market towns and good transport links to London and southern England. Covering 272 square miles, around 60% of West Berkshire is designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the countryside is as varied as it is plentiful.