Project brief

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council (dlroco) is the local authority for Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County, which has a population of just over 200,000 people and 35 named towns, villages and suburbs. The County Council’s staff and representatives are responsible for delivering high-quality services and infrastructure for its population, including Planning, Housing, and Leisure services.

The DLR IT and Communications teams wanted to design a responsive, public service website to better showcase and promote the wide range of services and activities offered to DLR residents, visitors and businesses, and to establish an architecture for future distributed content publishing.

As DLR's chosen technology partner, Monsoon Consulting had a clear requirement “to build a user centred and easily managed content management platform to better showcase and promote the wide range of the County Council services and activities offered to the citizens”.

Our Solution

Monsoon Consulting worked with Dún-Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council to build the next generation of DLR websites and internal intranet platform, applying Drupal 7 as the content management system. We employed a user-centered discovery and design process using Agile methodology, to manage change and constantly iterate on proposed solutions.

Discovery

Our team conducted internal DLR project stakeholders meetings to understand the platform requirements, the current issues being faced, and the nature of the content which needed to be displayed to users.

We interviewed representatives from all the internal Departments, holding various positions within the County Council, to get an in-depth understanding of internal processes and communication channels. We undertook website audience discovery workshops to identify website user groups and created proto-personas, used as a starting point from which to begin evaluating early design hypotheses.

Information Architecture

Our team developed a new information architecture centred around services delivered to citizens, rather than internal Departments, and started to work on the user journeys based on the new Architecture.

Content Management

A specific element of the discovery phase centred around content management. The structure of the website needed to accommodate internal Content Editors with specific content management permissions. This requirement was reflected in both the Information Architecture and the backend administration management.

The new dlrcoco.ie website is fully responsive and optimised for mobile

The Design Process

The design process was iterative and implied constantly evolving the solution as more information was available through continuous discovery. A wireframe-based prototype covering the major user journeys was developed and used to test the design solutions.

The designers working within the project team evolved the wireframes into a set of high-fidelity mockups to explore the ‘look and feel’ and the user interactions. Alongside the high fidelity designs, our team developed a Content Style Guide that would ensure consistency across the entire platform.

The team designed tablet and mobile views for all the content types alongside the desktop templates, used for discussion, refinement and sign-off within the project.

The Design Solution was developed based on the following principles:

  • Information architecture structured around services offered to the public (centred on user needs & understanding)

  • Comprehensive content hierarchy

  • Cohesive, unitary & impactful design approach

  • Flexibility

  • Navigation that invites exploration while maintaining focus, without overwhelming users with options

  • Powerful predictive search, key to navigation and content retrieval

  • Central repository & filters for documents, News, FAQs

  • Automated content distribution based on service types (create once, publish across the website)

  • Emergency & General Notifications

 

Agile Project Management

The development of dlrcoco.ie is representative for the Agile methodology that we employ within our team to design and build comprehensive and user centred solutions. The project had a dedicated, multidisciplinary team of researchers, designers, developers and a scrum master, that worked together with the County Council web team.

Adopting the Agile methodology for the design & build of this project allowed our team to quickly develop solutions, iterate and adjust the implementation as requirements evolved, and new information was gathered throughout the project. The entire project team was involved in all stages of project development, from research and discovery to development, QA and delivery.

"
We have been very impressed by the level of skill and professionalism displayed by the Monsoon team throughout this project. They have provided strong aesthetic and design skills, underpinned with business analysis, stakeholder engagement, and a robust project management technique.
"
Stephen Brady, Head of IT at Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council
Pitches page
Markets and Vendors

Impact and Results

The redeveloped dlrcoco.ie website serves as a highly visual, user-centered solution for a content-heavy platform.

Monsoon Consulting continues to train Content Editors within the County Council staff to handle content generation and management, setting guidelines and best practice standards for content optimisation. Additionally, we work with the internal IT and Communications teams to provide ongoing consulting and website optimisation services, such as user research, enhanced tracking, and analytics reporting.

Overall, this project showcases an end-to-end solution delivered to a local government that has improved access to information for all website visitors and has enhanced the content management process for DLR’s internal web team.