In 2015, Nacka Municipality began the journey towards a new digital solution for its internal and external communications. For several years, the municipality had an external website and an intranet built on SharePoint that had reached their best-before dates. This meant challenges like cumbersome legacy technology, compromises and technical “patchwork quilts.” The solutions no longer satisfied the needs of users, and Nacka Municipality realized the time had come to tackle the question of its digital presence.
Early on in the project Nacka Municipality indicated a strong desire to stand at the forefront, with a clear ambition of finding fresh opportunities to encourage dialogue with its stakeholders, both internal and external. It was important for the municipality to summon the courage to try new, modern solutions while addressing key priority issues like sustainability, safety, security and control. Unlike municipalities with traditional websites, Nacka Municipality wanted to bring transparency into focus and had a clear vision for achieving this goal.
We believe that modern government websites should be built on a powerful conceptual approach to service design. Successfully weaving together a personalized, task-solving digital workplace that promotes cooperation between employees and transparency for citizens represents the key to success for tomorrow’s digital solutions for local governments. The basic requirement for the new solution was therefore to avoid separate website and intranet solutions. Instead, the solutions were to be intertwined with regard to user experience and technology.
We were looking for a partner with a specific knowledge of designing and building a website that can be helpful for the municipality’s stakeholders, be a support for us in our daily work and also challenge our use of the website as a long-term channel.
For Nacka Municipality’s new site, we started from the point of view of a Nacka resident and went on a “journey” through the municipality’s service offerings. We identified and gained an understanding of all these journeys as well as the different points of contact between residents and municipality in different situations and across different channels. This gave us a clear picture of what site visitors need at any given moment and in any given context, and what role the site therefore needed for it to be perceived as a continually relevant channel of communication. Linked to this, the concept for Nacka.se placed great focus on the service offerings and how they were packaged, even though the services themselves did not happen to have related e-services. Through a clear focus on services, we opened up the potential for residents to ask questions and submit their thoughts and ideas, contributing to a greater exchange of ideas and an open social interaction between municipality and citizens.
Nacka’s new digital workplace is an extension of the real world that reflects the employees’ actual workplace and provides a platform that brings together the organization, employees and tools in one place. This digital workplace offers collaboratation and knowledge-sharing among colleagues, access to necessary tools and relevant, timely information from the organization. Both the functionality and information aims to reflect the user’s reality. The more internal elements of Nacka.se that replaced the old intranet are built from a task-based perspective. The digital workplace “figures out” which information is of value to the employee based on the data we have about that user, and employees can also make custom adjustments.
Building this type of solution is not a question about whether you are brave or not, it is a result of us honoring our vision of transparency and diversity. In today’s society, where networking is a central part, the demands and the expectations when it comes to the ability to act transparent is absolutely vital for an organization’s credibility. As a municipality the citizens' trust is crucial for our success. Our advice to other municipalities is to have the courage to hold on to this perspective during the project, even if it will be questioned.
Managing such a solution places great demands on the selected platform. Nacka.se is built on Episerver for content editing and creating of editorial content. For the operation and licensing of Episerver, Nacka Municipality chose Episerver Digital Experience Cloud Service, a service that in turn uses Microsoft Azure for most of its infrastructure.
With the launch of Nacka.se, we succeeded in delivering a unique concept for a municipal website. Along the way, we actively strove to avoid many of the traditional characteristics of a municipal website. And since we built an “experience layer” on top of the traditional municipal structure, we created a personal interface and thus a personal user experience with plenty of choices for the visitor. Nacka Municipality can now use information proactively in a whole new way.
Nacka Municipality obtained a new and improved platform that is stable and easily maintained, and that enables collaboration both externally and internally in entirely new ways. The employees’ workday has been simplified because they know where to turn to find everything they need. And citizens can more easily request municipal services — whether analog or digital — since a new, clearer solution is available that explains the range of services.
The municipality’s incredibly broad operations and all related information can now be easily grasped by its citizens, who can control and choose the information they are interested in at any given moment — and shape Nacka.se to their own.
Our new solution is praised and we ourselves feel that we have just started to scratch the surface when it comes to all the opportunities our new website offers.
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