Awarded to Nomensa Ltd

Start date: Wednesday 3 June 2020
Value: £68,000
Company size: SME
Cornwall Council

Website user experience design and user testing

15 Incomplete applications

12 SME, 3 large

64 Completed applications

61 SME, 3 large

Important dates

Monday 23 March 2020
Deadline for asking questions
Monday 30 March 2020 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Monday 6 April 2020 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
Deliver End-user engagement and co-design, iterate after user testing
Information Architecture/taxonomy
Responsive front-end design including for example(but not exclusive): Home page
Section signposting
News centre pages
Content pages
Deliver of wireframes, taxonomy and html style guide in HTML5
Latest start date
Monday 11 May 2020
Expected contract length
2-3 months (dependent on current environment)
South West England
Organisation the work is for
Cornwall Council
Budget range

About the work

Why the work is being done
Cornwall Council website is the key information and transactional front door to our residents, businesses and visitors.

Our Digital Cornwall programme has developed into enabling our customers access to services when it suits them and to bring the councils technology into line with our customer’s expectations.

Since our redesign in 2014 we are overdue a refresh. As such we would like to provide a simple, user focused front end which provides our users the experience that enables them to transact with the council.

The council is working towards improving its “get it right first time” and its engagement with residents and as such the site needs to both reflect a local focus whilst also ensuring we engage with our residents.

Whilst we recognise that the aesthetics are a key component in delivery for this project we also want to review and revamp our information architecture and content construction in the same perspective of making things easier to find and navigate. In doing so we wish to enable our site to be consumable by other devices and as such any design should be done so in consideration to how this is made possible.
Problem to be solved
In order for our residents, businesses and visitors to access our services then we wish to provide an intuitive front end design, a modern and simplified taxonomy, consumable content in a responsive format. The user needs are first and foremost in our thinking and this needs to be translated to provide an exemplary user experience. Whilst we have already carried out some work around design with residents we wish to validate this thinking through co-design sessions.

Currently we have built our platform using Umbraco version 6.3 but are planning to upgrade to version 8. We would wish to utilise bootstrap framework for responsive delivery.
Who the users are and what they need to do
As a resident, business or visitor I need to access information and transact with the Council
As a member I need to find information about my area or the council, help residents find information and transact with the Council
As a partner to the Council I need to find specific information about our partnership or about services we provide on their behalf or other information for instance for schools
As a Council we need to be able to present our information, news and transactions in a simple and intuitive way
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
Initial consultation with residents on design preferences
Comprehensive data analysis on website usage
Working with local University during our discovery phase we have preliminarily engaged with a number of residents based on preferences which has provide us insight into local design preferences.
Existing team
Head of Customer Experience
Customer Excellence and Digital Manager
Web Lead
Web Programme Analyst
Data Analysts
Communications team
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
New County Hall, Truro
Working arrangements
The work will be site based at New County Hall or offsite at alternative venues if required. Suppliers will have the option of working from their own premises as the business dictates. When working with residents there may be a need to work with them in local venues.
Security clearance

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions

Skills and experience

Buyers will use the essential and nice-to-have skills and experience to help them evaluate suppliers’ technical competence.

Essential skills and experience
  • Experience of delivering user centred design
  • Evidence of building responsive and accessible websites to WCAG 2.1 AA standard or above
  • Evidence of delivery of user journey approach
  • Experience of engaging with users to test outputs and iterating based on user feedback
  • Experience in delivering responsive design preferably using Bootstrap V3 and above
  • Experience in designing aesthetically and engaging templates
  • Experience in redeveloping Information Architecture for large corporate website
  • Evidence of delivery within specific time-frames including Agile delivering
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Experience of working with Umbraco v8
  • Demonstrate at least 2 years’ experience of working with a Local Authority or public sector partners
  • Understanding the use of markup language and its consumption by various other technologies

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Provide details of your user centred projects delivered including your approach to this
  • Provide examples of your compliance to WCAG 2.1 AA or above
  • Provide details of your project management approach with indicative timeframes, mindful that we would propose no more than 2-3 months for this exercise
  • Provide details of your proposed approach to developing the designs with customers Provide details of your approach to redesigning current information architecture
  • Provide details of how you will approach designating areas for “marking up” content as part of the design for content consumption by other methods
Cultural fit criteria
  • Provide details of any social value you offer
  • Provide details of reducing your Carbon footprint
  • Minimum wage employer
  • Develop a community of learning where council and supplier can learn from each other
  • Ability to work with communities of were there is limited technical understanding
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
  • Case study
  • Work history
  • Reference
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Does the budget exclude VAT?
No the budget is approximate but does not include VAT
2. Does the project exclude build and maintenance requirements?
The project is to deliver fully accessible and responsive HTML5, CSS and supporting code etc that can be used to build our own content management templates
3. Has any user research already been completed?
Yes, we have worked with a local university to develop a view from customers about which designs resonated with them more that others. We have tested some of these designs with users. This information can be supplied as part of the awarded contract.
4. Do you have personas?
Yes, we have a number of personas developed using demograpic insight data with a clear methodology of how they were created. The are representative of our residents/business but do not cover detailed user needs
5. Are you looking for the visual design layer to be applied as part of the designs produced?
The project is to deliver fully accessible and responsive HTML5, CSS and supporting code etc that can be used to build our own content management templates
6. For research requirements, are you able to help with accessing contacts to take part in research?
We do have access to groups of residents that have expressed an interest in taking part in user research, we would take the successful suppliers steer on how to best interact with them. Given the ever changing environment through social distancing we are currently seeing. Alternatively we would take advice on whether we could utilise groups that supplier has already established
7. In light of the current covid-19 restrictions, can you outline how this will affect the requirement for "The work will be site based at New County Hall or offsite at alternative venues if required. Suppliers will have the option of working from their own premises as the business dictates. When working with residents there may be a need to work with them in local venues."
The situation is moving rapidly but inline with current restrictions all work would be completed remotely. However this will be reviewed as the situation progresses and guidance changes.
8. Could you please share any discovery work done and findings?
Any insight or discovery work will be shared with shortlisted suppliers if required
9. Are there any incumbents who you are working with?
We are not currently not working with any external suppliers
10. 'Understanding the use of markup language and its consumption by various other technologies'
This refers to html markup schema and other similar technologies to allow content to easily be machine read and consumed for example by search engines or home assistants. Our future plans are to make our website much more consumable by other media so we would take advice and guidance on how best to "mark up" our site to do so.
11. Question and answers session - due to current restrictions on movement for the council, we ask that questions are supplied at or during this time due to our logistical issues. The team will endeavour to respond during the session. We will publish all questions and answers before the due date as set out if not and thank you for your understanding.
As above
12. A key part of the project is ‘user testing’ – in the current climate how do you foresee user engagement being delivered? Are you happy for us to suggest a ‘remote appropriate’ solution? Or would you be happy for face to face engagement to be budgeted for and delivered whenever possible?
We recognise that normal operating parameters are rather challenging at present so we are happy to understand how this may be delivered and would welcome supplier recommendations for how a remote solution may operate. Given the timescales and current social distancing then whilst face to face engagement would be preferable we understand that this may not be a viable option. If this situation changes then we would prefer a face to face engagement.
13. We see that Umbraco v8 is a "nice to have" experience. Is there anything driving you towards this platform in particular?
Umbraco is our current platform and our plans are to upgrade our current version 6 to version 8. This is a product that we have used for a number of years and delivers capability within our requirements based on our in-house skill-sets. Support and infrastructure is maintained in-house.
14. The listing indicates that you will be "shortlisting" 10 suppliers. Is this correct? This is significantly higher than is usual for a DOS PQQ.
Correct, it is higher and we would like to review up to 10 but our preference would be lower. We will review initial responses and shortlist appropriately based on our requirements. We would prefer a lower number and we would seek to shortlist to 5.
15. Can you please confirm that the supplier is to deliver "responsive HTML5, CSS and supporting code" of the visual components and that they are not expected to implement this on the site and build the published pages.
This would be for code and visuals. Our inhouse team will take the constructed code and translate this into the Umbraco 8 templates in order for us to build into upgraded web platform.
16. Good morning – can you please confirm the arrangements for the Q&A session?
Unfortunately due to current resourcing then we have to only answer questions through the market place. When the request was launched we had anticipated being able to run a live session however due to resources at the moment then we will need to respond to questions through the marketplace. Apologies but as you can imagine the situation logistically has changed as I am sure it has for everyone
17. Would you be open to this project being largely run remotely (other than discovery session) in the scenario the current social distancing procedures are removed?
The situation is moving rapidly but inline with current restrictions all work would be completed remotely. However this will be reviewed as the situation progresses and guidance changes. Working together will be preferable if/when that becomes possible. We will also of course consider the environment as part of this and are open to discuss the approach.
18. Presumably the essential requirement of 'preferably Bootstrap' is to match your in-house skill-set. Will we be at a distinct disadvantage if we use alternate technology here? We'll offer an explanation as to why we do.
We currently use bootstrap V3 and have considerable in-house skills with this framework. Whilst bootstrap is preferred for that reason, we are open to discuss other suggested frameworks and technologies.
19. Following the 6th April submission deadline, please can you confirm your proposed timings for the rest of your selection process?
We aim to evaluate submissions and arrange supplier presentations in the 2 weeks following the deadline. At this point presentations will likely be a 1 hour and done via skype or teams, rather than in person. Following that we would aim to appoint before the end of April. We'd then aim to kick off in early May and be complete in early August. However all of this could be impacted by the current situation.
20. Were people with a diverse range of visual, physical, cognitive abilities involved in the design research so far?
We have not completed testing or research with the users mentioned so far. However accessibility is something we take very seriously and will be working to ensure thet site is as accessible for all users, as well as meeting the new EU legislation.
21. How did you identify the problems of usability, information architecture and navigation, and accessibility? For example, were the service users involved in the design preferences consultation also asked about the current website? And would this information be available to shortlisted suppliers?
Some problems have been understood over the lifetime of the existing site through customer feedback. Some accessibilty issues have been understood through automated testing as well as internal testing by our team. Our current design was carried out with customers however it is now 5 years old. All information we have will be available to you, however please note some will less formal.
22. Would you prefer our response to include how we would deliver co-design and user testing in both face-to-face and remote scenarios?
Based on the current changing situation an understanding of both approaches would be useful. However we do appreciate the situation is fast moving and we will all need to be flexible around how this part is delivered.
We would welcome suggestions on how this might work in a remote environment.
23. How do you collect ongoing feedback from your service users and would this be in a shareable format for us to include in any desk research activity?
We collect feedback anecdotally, through our website feedback page, through formal compliments and complaints and we also have a set of residents we use for gaining feedback. All appropriate information will be available at the beginning of the project.
24. Could we ask if you have been able to approach agencies directly in this process? If not why have you decided that an open tender is the best approach? Location- all being well we would love to work on site with the team. Even so, it is sometimes the case that local government have a preference for choosing suppliers within the local area. Is this the case here? We are a London based agency.
We have decided to take this route in order to find the supplier who can best demonstrate how they can deliver our requirements will be selected regardless of location, whilst we would like to be working with a local supplier we are seeking to provide the best solution we can for the Council. Of course we will take the current situation into account when we plan how we work together remotely and if if the situation changes, in person.
25. Can we see the research and analytics work that has already been done, in order to help estimate the work required?
This information will be supplied to successful candidate however in brief. A report from local university which explored through telephone survey why people used our telephony service; presentation of particular design aspects, which was tested with users; full breakdown of channel usage across telephony, email, chat, website etc including search analytics.
26. You mention that you have worked with a local University to run some user testing workshops. Do you plan to use the University for this going forward, or would you like us to run discovery workshops and usability testing? (possibly alongside the University)
We would hope that that the successful supplier will lead on the user testing/research workshops as part of their bid.
27. Has a content audit been undertaken?
We had plans in place to complete a full site content audit. Unfortunately the current situation means we have not so far had the capacity to do so.
28. Is there a product owner for the project?
The product owner for this work will be members of the project team but we have a senior responsible officer and there will be substitutes in any absence.
29. What will be the feedback and approval process be from the client side?
We would expect that guidance from the supplier would be given as to how this is carried out in order to comply with the timescales as set out. We would be flexible in terms of how this carried out but we are seeking an understanding as to how the project would be delivered within the timeframes we have set with no deviation.
30. What do you have in terms of brand guidelines? If none, is there a remit to evolve the current brand?
We do have brand guidelines as a council that would need to be considered, as part of this however we would like to consider how we best meet elements for instance around how we present the region, utilising the nature and beauty but also ensure that the user experience is the best it can be
31. Will you facilitate the user testing and would the supplier be an observer, or is the requirement for the supplier to run the user testing?
The supplier will be the lead on the user testing, so please provide details of your options for this. As the current social distancing may be a factor we need to consider, then we would like to understand what those options might look like
32. Are you planning to continue with the same pool of residents that you've engaged with for the Discovery phase?
No, we would seek to engage potentially with a resident group that we contact for this distinct area of work. We would also need to factor in engagement with internal stakeholders. For instance our Digital Members group which is made up from our Elected members who have a focus on digital services
33. How many residents are in this pool?
To be defined as per previous question however I think it would be useful to understand the size of a group that would be required to be able to carry out this exercise and what this activity may look like
34. Your response to Q19 states that supplier presentations will be arranged within 2 weeks of the 6 April deadline – however the initial notice states that "All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal". Can you please clarify the process – will you be requesting written proposals, or do you plan on going directly to supplier presentations following submission of evidence against the "esssential" and "nice-to-have" skills and experience?
We will evaluate suppliers based on the written responses to the proposal criteria, we will score proposals and we will then invite the suppliers that meet our criteria to present back to the Council. We will then award based on initial proposal and presentation. Please note the additional material elements.