JBi-Film-Cover
JBi-Film-Cover
Ofwat
Ofwat

Ofwat

Host, manage and incrementally improve the Ofwat website. We are proud to be Ofwat’s long term digital partner and continue to offer them proactive support and strategy.

Ofwat is responsible for the economic regulation of the water and sewage industry in England and Wales.

In 2019, JBi Digital were delighted to be appointed to host, manage and incrementally improve the Ofwat website.

We are proud to be Ofwat’s long term digital partner and continue to offer them proactive support and strategy.

Long-term digital partnership

Ofwat’s website is central to its communications strategy, so it was vital that we formed a strong partnership from the start, working as an extension to the Ofwat team with a full understanding of the organisation’s audiences.

When we inherited the Ofwat website in 2020, it was crucial that we worked quickly to understand the Ofwat team’s pain points and long term objectives for the site in order to build a long term partnership and roadmap.

With this in mind, we began our partnership with a series of meetings, stakeholder workshops and user engagements to understand Ofwat’s key objectives and audience base. 

It became clear that Ofwat’s priority was to address key pain points with the website UX and CMS. In the longer term, it was agreed that a roadmap would be devised to optimise the website further and use it to portray Ofwat as a respected authority, but also a friendly, personable brand that encourages engagement from residential users.

“As a client they make you feel really reassured. We just really enjoy working with them.”

Roshni Natali, Head of Digital and Design at Ofwat.

Ofwat's new homepage on desktop & mobile
Ofwat's new homepage on desktop & mobile

UX discovery informing digital roadmap

We ran audits, user research and collaborative workshops to inform Ofwat’s long term digital roadmap.

In order to formulate this roadmap, we led a collaborative UX discovery which included stakeholder interviews, user research and workshops to discover key insights and priorities.

Based on the insights and trends gained through these interactions, we created user personas for each audience group and plotted user flows.

We also ran a comprehensive SEO and analytics audit which identified key improvement areas across the website, including priority content types, common entry points and key user interactions. Among other things, we found that: 

  • 60,000 pages were not being indexed on Google
  • The site was filled with junk pages and non-validated URLs
  • Approximately 2,000 pages were being hidden by Google

The outputs of this Discovery subsequently  informed our long term roadmap, including information architecture optimisation, accessibility compliance and overall design direction.

Key pages of the Ofwat website
Key pages of the Ofwat website
The EDI & About Us pages are visited frequently and it was essential that each were optimised to account for this.

Working towards WCAG 2.2 AA compliance

As a large public sector organisation, Ofwat is required to adhere to WCAG 2.2 AA accessibility standards.

One of our key remits is to support Ofwat on an ongoing basis in bringing the website in line with WCAG 2.2 AA accessibility standards.

We use a variety of methods to test accessibility across the website, including automated testing and manual testing. We have also worked with our trusted partners to commission external accessibility testing.

Over the course of our audits and testing, various areas of non-compliance have been identified and remediated:

  • Ofwat’s brand colours did not pass accessibility criteria and their content used many acronyms and lacked descriptions for users.
  • There were no alternative ways for accessing PDF files, meaning most of the legal content was not accessible for users.  
  • The website was using confusing page templates for users with cognitive disabilities. 

A remediation plan has been put in place to address each of these issues and more, and the JBi team continues to work with Ofwat to bring its website in line with WCAG 2.2 AA compliance.

Working towards WCAG 2.2 AA Compliance
Working towards WCAG 2.2 AA Compliance
We implemented ReciteMe to improve the overall accessibility of the site & appeal to Ofwat's wide audience range.

Proactive support & maintenance

We continue to work closely with the Ofwat internal team to provide ongoing website support & maintenance.

Alongside the long term roadmap and accessibility projects, our support team works closely with Ofwat to proactively support and maintain the website. 

We use a collaborative ticketing system to fix bugs, perform CMS upgrades and respond to requests from the Ofwat team. 

In recent months, we have integrated ReciteMe and Hotjar through this relationship. ReciteMe was implemented to improve the site’s accessibility and ensure that Welsh language was available. Hotjar allowed Ofwat to examine user engagement and interaction on the website.  

We continue to deliver outstanding digital solutions for Ofwat and have built on our roadmap and recommendations to ensure long term success for the future.

“The friendliness of the team, that’s been consistent ever since we first met them. They’re so personable. They’re genuine people, and just really want to help.”

Roshni Natali, Head of Digital and Design at Ofwat.

 

If you are looking for support on a digital project, you can get in touch with us by emailing hello@jbidigital.co.uk or calling us on 0207 043 2510.

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