Doncaster website on multiple devices


The City of Doncaster Council is a forward-thinking local authority committed to helping its residents and communities live well together now and in the future.

We were delighted to win a competitive process to design a ‘model of best practice’ website for the Council with a focus on delivering a first-class user experience. The project was particularly exciting as it coincided with the Council gaining ‘City’ status.

User-Experience Design and Stakeholder Engagement

Resident Scene

User-Experience Design and Stakeholder Engagement

User-Experience Design was front and centre for the project from the outset. The project began with a thorough discovery process, which included business analysis of website usage and thorough consultation with stakeholders through our planning and delivery of focus group sessions.

The discovery process included an iterative approach to design and a series of design concepts were presented to stakeholders for feedback and subsequent distillation and refinement.

Find out more about our approach to developing engagement websites.

Bespoke Illustration of Local Landmarks

Business Scene

Bespoke Illustration of Local Landmarks

The final design strikes an excellent balance between professionalism, ease of use, accessibility and conveying Doncaster’s unique personality and heritage.

Our experienced team created bespoke illustrations of local landmarks which are used together to create scenes in the website’s header area. As well as being attractive and enhancing the website’s visual appeal, these scenes help to immediately reassure visitors they are in the right place and they also convey a sense of civic pride for Doncaster and its rich history.

Celebrating Doncaster's Rich Heritage

The scenes come alive through the use of parallax effects and moving clouds and are also integral to the user-experience focus of the website. The primary navigation enables the user to toggle between ‘Resident’, ‘Business’ and ‘Visitors’ which presents options tailored to these primary user groups. Switching between user groups moves the scene along, changing the landmarks displayed in the scene and changing the scene’s colour wash to reaffirm the transition.

For example, when ‘Visitor’ is selected, the scene features illustrations of the nearby Yorkshire Wildlife Park, Doncaster Minster and the iconic LNER Class A4 Sir Nigel Gresley Locomotive – one of the most famous steam trains in the world, built at the Doncaster Works and holding the postwar steam speed record of 112 miles per hour!

Card-Based Navigation

Phone Features

Card-Based Navigation

‘Resident’, ‘Business’ and ‘Visitor’ offers can be explored via clear card-based navigation which group information and resources into key themes such as ‘Health and Wellbeing’, ‘Council and Democracy’ and ‘Libraries’. And we created bespoke icons to illustrate each theme to further assist with user navigation.

Doncaster landmarks full colourDoncaster landmarks full colourDoncaster landmarks full colour

Person-Centric Language and Features

Complementary to the engaging design assets we created is the use of friendly person-centric language on the website. Visitors are greeted with ‘Good morning. How can we help you today?’ and the use of language is also tailored for ease of understanding and comprehension.

Website users have a variety of additional means to find information – there’s a search which presents suggestions as the user types, a traditional service A-Z, plus quick shortcuts for common ‘Apply for it’, ‘Report it’ and ‘Pay for it’ transactions.

Project Outcomes

We closely collaborated with the Council’s internal team to support the successful role out of the HTML / CSS templates and design assets to the Council’s Orchard CMS environment.

The finished new City of Doncaster Council website has great visual appeal and a superb level of usability, with strong contrast and excellent semantic structure.  The website is also compliant with the Public Sector Accessibility Regulations and meets WCAG 2.1 ‘AA’ standards.

Building on the success of the project we went on to develop a new intranet site for the Council using the same approach of placing the user front and centre.

Service icons 02
Service icons 01