Creating a unified web presence for the European Commission

How U-Sentric is helping the EC to transform their online presence

The U-Sentric team was asked to help build the “new digital presence for the European Commission”. We needed to link the 3 goals for this new web presence ‘Relevance’, ‘Coherence’ and ‘Cost-effectiveness’ to values we hold high; being user-centered, evidence based and consistent.

The objective of this project is to rationalise and transform the existing content of all the EC’s websites, as the massive amount of pages currently stored on the EUROPA platform became unmanageable for EC webmasters and formed a serious threat for the users in terms of findability and user experience.

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What did we do

The project kicked-off in June 2013 and comprised 2 phases:

  1. Rationalisation of the current (EUROPA) web presence
  2. Transition to a new Commission digital presence

The aim of phase 1 was to establish a state of play of the current situation of the EUROPA platform in terms of websites and content inventory and to identify where outdated content could be removed or archived.

In phase 1 of the project U-Sentric supported the Digital Transformation Team (DTT) mainly by:

  • Setting up standardised testing techniques;
  • Performing different types of testing to support the analytics team in evidence gathering;
  • Setting up workshops in collaboration with other DG’s;
  • Advising DGs on how to improve their current web presence

In phase 2, which is currently going on, the team is creating a complete new architecture in terms of technology and information architecture; one information architecture and consistent design for the whole EC web presence. In parallel with this, the team is also supporting the DG’s to transform their existing content to the newly designed technical platform.

U-Sentric is responsible for the testing of all the produced, giving input on how all these elements can be improved in a user centered way following an iterative process, evidence gathering and translating data into practical outputs and recommendations. 

 

The outcome

 

From 400 separate, scattered websites to 1 user friendly, relevant and cost efficient web presence that will enable users to access all the information provided by the European commission and easily find what they are looking for.

U-Sentric established a fully integrated testing cell within the DTT and is providing testing services to the entire team. We have increased the awareness concerning the user’s needs linked to the different DG’s websites and enabled the possibility of using very practical UX material and incorporating user centered design in everyday work.

As, this is still an ongoing project, our team is still working on the further deployment of the website every day.

This results in a unified web presence, that is based on user needs which meet the organisational  goals of the European Commission.