Get things done!

Welcome to part 3 of our “Get things done!” series for the new website. Earlier we introduced the new look and feel of our new website with Part 1: Welcome to our new website and later revealed our ‘Mega Menu’ navigation with Part 2: How to get things done using our Mega Menus.

In this part of our series, we will show how you can get things done on the ‘Action Nav’ which is short for action navigation.

Action Nav

Action Nav

The Action Nav is one of the most important elements of the new website. For any large website such as a council website, navigation is a critical point to get right so users can easily find what they are looking for. Our user research showed that users only wanted to get things done on our website and move swiftly on their way. So our focus was to ensure that they were able to do this quickly and easily on the new website.

This video demonstrates how the Action Nav works.

Enhancing User Experience (UX)

Our designers focused extra attention on the user experience (UX). They said

The Action Nav was used to address the need to allow users easier access to the online services. The project wanted to shift the site from an information based site supported by services to a site that promotes self-service, supported by information. This makes perfect sense as the vast majority of users don’t arrive at the site looking to browse, they arrive with a specific task in mind. Sourcing information is only one of several tasks possible (applying, paying, etc), and the previous site did not really reflect this parity of services sufficiently.

Andy Thornton (Fortune Cookie User Experience Expert)

Ordering of items in the Action Nav

It was also important for us to put extra thought and effort into ordering the items in the Action Nav. All the items are ordered according to the most popular transactions first. We chose this approach as opposed to an alphabetically order because of the following reasons:-

  • Alphabetical order is useful if impartiality or equality is required, but it otherwise does not reflect user (or indeed business) needs.
  • Many websites structure their primary navigation to prioritise user or business need, even sites with huge product catalogues such as Amazon do this.
  • Action navigation in particular is best served by listing the most frequently required / requested action first (i.e. Pay) to address it’s high level of user need.
  • Users wishing to find information alphabetically will be able to use the A-Z provided.

Feedback from our user research

  • “[It] gives me the impression that there is more to Camden than just data and information.  There is a human connection going on here.  I like that.”
  • “[This] makes you feel more involved.”
  • “That looks nice.  I didn’t mind the old one but this one looks better.”
  • “This one has a modern feel to it.  The current design is dated.”
  • “I will have to do quite a bit of clicking around the old website.  With the new one, I could click once.”

Eye tracking analysis

We also did some eye-tracking analysis to ensure the new design is effective in attracting users to carry out transactions easily.

The data from all of the participants has been aggregated to create heat maps for both the current homepage and new design. They show data from the first 1 minute on the page.

Coloured regions show areas with longer fixation times, with highest duration on the red areas, then yellow, then green.  (Note: Fixation time alone is does not determine whether usability is good or bad.  Users might dwell on an area longer because they are engaged or interested, because that area requires more attention or comprehension, or because something is difficult to understand.)

This shows quick reference to their task-based needs.

Eye tracking analysis of new website


Since this initial launch is only the first stage of our website redesign project, we will continue to make adjustments to suit users needs as we analyse and assess the changes that they go through. For instance, adapting the ordering of tasks according to seasonal demands such as paying council tax or registering for school and etc.

The webteam