About SIB & ISNI
The Strategic Investment Board (SIB) was established in 2003 to help deliver public sector projects and programmes and advise the Northern Ireland Executive on the “development and successful implementation of a long term Investment Strategy for Northern Ireland (ISNI).”
The Investment Strategy for Northern Ireland guides and shapes key infrastructure projects across the region. Its core objectives are to:
- Maximise benefits from new technology & innovation
- Strengthening our essential services
- Decarbonising our economy & society
- Supporting a strong, connected and competitive region
- Enhancing our communities and places
The Investment Strategy for Northern Ireland 2050 is the current draft strategy which sets out a framework for an innovative approach to multi-billion-pound investment for infrastructure projects including new roads, schools, hospitals, social housing, and public transport.
What was the challenge?
The design and development of a public facing website to showcase the Investment Strategy for Northern Ireland 2050, the projects involved and provide an opportunity for public consultation.
The aim of the project was to create a website that would highlight the core objectives of the strategy, open a public consultation channel and showcase the projects that have taken place and how the budget is being spent.
The ‘business ready’ standalone website would provide an interface between the SIB ISNI team, industry stakeholders and the public, as well as strengthen engagement and encourage conversation.
It would provide a platform for the ISNI team to engage with stakeholders and monitor the progress of projects. It would also be a destination site for the public, elected government officials and industry leaders to consume up-to-date information on relevant aspects of capital projects and programmes funded under the ISNI.
The objectives of the website were as follows;
- To support the ISNI process and update stakeholders with ISNI progress
- To provide an interface between the SIB ISNI team, ministers, public sector stakeholders, private sector stakeholders, applicants, the private sector, and the general public
- To strengthen ISNI engagement and buy-in of above audiences
- To monitor and communicate the status of current and future infrastructure projects
- To keep the ISNI document live, and to provide a platform for an ongoing conversation with stakeholders
- To showcase some key infrastructure projects taking place across NI
- To provide a platform to receive consultation submissions
There were a number of required features:
- A future proofed content management system
- A fast, accessible and mobile responsive public facing website
- Ability to upload, listen to and view videos, podcasts, blogs
- Ability to book events and webinars online
- Ability for ongoing engagement i.e. consultation submissions
We wanted to develop a solution that would meet their objectives, showcase the brand and meet the needs of users simultaneously. The first stage of this design-led project was to kick-off with a discovery workshop to capture requirements and agree on the approach.
During the discovery and research phase we wanted to gain a clear understanding of key user journeys, so we undertook one to one stakeholder interviews, user journey mapping, competitive analysis and user personas. Through these activities we were able to uncover the project’s goals and objectives, the main user journeys, their pain points and their goals . Throughout the project we used Government Design Principles to ensure the site was compliant with public sector guidelines.
With a clear understanding of the business and user requirements, our design team developed sitemaps, journey flows and wireframes to rapidly test solutions with stakeholders and users. From there it was onto the UI design phase, where a high-fidelity clickable prototype was designed and built.
Once this initial design phase was complete, we moved forward into development sprints.
- Sprint planning
- Stand ups
- Sprint release
- Performance and automated testing took place during each sprint as well as launch testing.
Working collaboratively we designed and developed an interactive website on solid UX UI design principles that will engage users, encourage discourse and showcase the projects taking place in an easy to use and navigate website.
From a UX perspective we developed a website that is:
- Fluid & responsive navigation
- Dynamic CMS
- Optimised for multiple devices
- Use engaging mediums and tone of voice
- Accessibility – public facing
From a feature perspective it:
- is optimised for use across multiple devices including computer, phone and tablet
- meets security standards, protocols and assurances and ensure that data is treated as confidential and will not be shared with 3rd parties
- Is SEO optimised the UK government guidelines for websites and is accessible to all users
- Is fully compliant with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines WACG2.1AA
Ultimately, the goal of this project was to provide the public with access to essential information and provide them with a platform to raise concerns or queries. This has been achieved, with the project successfully launching in early 2022.