Brighton & Hove Homepage Design

Putting users first with Brighton & Hove City Council

In 2021, we were asked by our customer experience team to improve the site navigation and architecture of the Brighton & Hove City Council website.

Working alongside a members of the digital, customer experience and communications teams, we used analytics and user feedback to make the following observations:

  • Our information architecture was built around the homepage, but only 7% of users landed on the homepage.
  • Our information architecture was built around service structure rather than user needs.
  • Our search engine was outdated.
  • We had an inconsistent design system.
An example page on the current website.

We decided to make improvements to the site structure, including a new, persona-driven architecture and improvements to page-level navigation.

To support making changes to the site information architecture, I have been working with our art director on a redesign and rationalisation of our design system.

From a set of initial concepts, I built a prototype that pulled several new pattern ideas into a single page.

My prototype incorporating a number of new pattern ideas.

A new pattern in this design is a sidebar navigation system. This takes the existing information architecture and builds a menu, allowing users to easily move between pages in a section, or sections within a wider service.

As the site evolves, this will move from a service-driven architecture to a new, persona driven architecture.

A working example of the new navigation system.

I have also been working on a consistent, flexible and simple pattern library aligned to the GDS design system.

As the site evolves, it should be easy to reuse these components and rapidly iterate new features.

An example online form using GDS patterns.

We also had consistency issues with the existing sites, with separate patterns for each piece of content.

The new design will have a consistent set of patterns and components used across the site. Previously, Directories, Events and Jobs all had their own patterns, under the new system they will all use a new "Listings" template.

An example of a directory using the "listing" format.

We are now working on building up the brand, with particular focus on using accents and shading to enhance the content.

We will continue testing these patterns, with a view to going live in November 2021.

Visit the test site →

One of the concepts for our homepage.