Capability building
We help teams develop a vision and strategy for their work, and support them while they build the capabilities they need to transform their organisation.
User research
Everything we build starts with user needs. We include it at every stage of a project, whether it’s contextual studies in discovery or usability testing of live services.
Design
We design as we build, both on paper and with working prototypes, and test with users to get feedback and iterate.
Development
Starting with user needs, we apply our technical expertise to deliver digital services that are recognisably and radically better.
Security
We provide a range of services to keep your site secure, from code reviews and audits to penetration testing.
Hosting
We are experts in hosting high-profile public sector web sites. We use our experience to provide you with robust, secure and cost-effective hosting.

How we work

Inception

dxw starts projects by working with the client team to describe the problem we’re working together to solve. We talk with staff, stakeholders and users to create a vision for the project. Towards the end of the phase, we come together as a single team to define a roadmap for the work to come.

In our work with North Hertfordshire Homes, we facilitated a strategy workshop where members of the team described their goals for the organisation and what the changes would mean. Taking these goals as the basis, the team were able to define the capabilities they were going to need to build to achieve them.

Read more about our inception work for NHH.

Post-it notes

Discovery

Before a single line of code is written it’s important to understand your users and the scope of the project. At the end of the discovery phase you will have a sense of the shape of the service you want to build and a set of user stories to take into alpha.

When we were delivering a discovery phase for NHS Jobs, we organised a series of interviews with candidates and recruitment teams in trusts to understand the needs they all have of NHS recruitment. From these in-depth interviews, we drew a map of user’s journeys and their different needs at the various stages of recruitment.

Read more about our discovery work for NHS Jobs.

Wireframes

Alpha

An alpha phase is when we build prototypes and put them to the test by showing them to users. We then refine and iterate based on their feedback. By the end, the team will have a basic, functioning product and a good understanding of how the service will work.

We delivered an alpha for GOV.UK Campaigns. Early on, we knew that many users of this website-building tool would have low levels of digital literacy. A week into the alpha they had their first hands-on experience with the product, and all changes from then on were driven by their feedback. By the end of the alpha phase they were already using the tool to create basic campaign sites.

Read more about an alpha phase we did for GDS Campaigns platform.

Prototype on mobile devices

Beta

In beta we build a version of your service that can be launched to users. After launch, we continue to improve it as it as we learn more about how it works in practice.

After the beta we built for the Export Opportunities service was running at scale, new offline working practices began to grow up around it. We talked to managers and users to understand these new workflows and added small but simple features like documentation and bulk data export to help staff do their jobs.

Read more about the beta release of Exporting is GREAT.

Screenshots of EIG website

Live

A digital service is never finished: without continuous improvement, any service will fall behind as the people, process and practices around it change. We help teams across the public sector operate, secure, monitor and improve their services, so that they can be sustainable in the long term.

We have run operations for BLOG.GOV.UK since delivering its alpha, beta and live phases in 2013. As well as improving the service based on user feedback and user research, we manage the hosting and infrastructure that supports it. Because these sites are used for Government communications, blogs sometimes experience spikes in traffic that the platform scales to accommodate.

Read more about our work on the GDS blogging platform.

Website on a desktop screen

Let's build better services together!

Contact us to discuss your project and we’ll be happy to help

Work with dxw