The Police and Crime Commissioner plays an integral role in ensuring that local communities have a voice and receive a service that they can trust from their police force.
In order to do this, the OPCC needs to ensure that its digital communications strategy is being delivered in line with modern standards. A large part of this is digital accessibility, a factor that is enforced by law so website users of all abilities can access content online.
With retrofit action required to make the West Mercia PCC website compliant, this seemed like the ideal opportunity to refresh the website as a whole.
As a leading provider of contemporary, accessible solutions for the public sector, as well as an existing digital partner, Formation Media were invited to bid for West Mercia PCC’s new website project.
We were successful in our bid, and were tasked with modernising the website, making it more user friendly, improving the aesthetics and of course ensuring compliance with accessibility requirements.
With a focus on user experience as well as thorough staff training in digital accessibility, we approached this project with excitement and confidence that we could offer the perfect solution.
It is essential for all public sector websites and apps to be compliant with WCAG 2.1AA digital accessibility standards, giving users of all abilities the opportunity to navigate and access information.
We have now completed a number of compliance retrofits as well as completely new public sector website builds, so achieving the standards has become second nature to us. Our developers and website designers have all been accessibility trained and we use specifically licensed software to ensure both the design and coding of websites are compliant.
The new site is pictorially led, featuring photography from the region in order to connect with the community, as well as a consistently positive visual representation of the Commissioner, John Campion. There is also the opportunity for integrated video, providing a dynamic and striking appearance upon site entry and whilst browsing the site.
One of our challenges was to implement a simple, clear and easy to use navigation system. We did this with a hierarchical menu layout and constant points of navigation throughout the site. The most important pages are constantly visible in the top nav, whilst secondary layers of information are accessible within the expandable burger menu.
Important pages can also be given prominence through the ‘Discover’ carousel on the homepage, and Parent/Child page links are clearly demonstrated within internal page navigation.
“We are pleased with the new West Mercia PCC website, and would readily recommend Formation Media to organisations looking for website development. The process was easy and efficient from beginning to end, and the site was delivered on time and in budget.” West Mercia Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner
We are also continuing to work with the Office of the West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner to give them additional functionality. In May 2021, Police and Crime Commissioners across the country will be undergoing an election period, in which websites need to be completely neutral and unbased towards any one particular candidate.
As such, we are building an easy to manage function that with the click of a button, allows admins to hide certain areas of content from the website, including text, images and documents that show favour to the current Commissioner.