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”.
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-centred discovery and design process using Agile methodology, to manage change and constantly iterate on proposed solutions.
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.
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.
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 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
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 of 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.
Impact and Results
The redeveloped dlrcoco.ie website serves as a highly visual, user-centred 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.