The Environment Agency is an Executive Nondepartmental Public Body responsible to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and a Welsh Government Sponsored Body responsible to the Minister for Environment and Sustainable Development.
Its key aims are to protect and improve the environment, and to promote sustainable development. The Agency plays a central role in delivering the environmental priorities of Central Government and the Welsh Government through its functions.
The Environment Agency needed to collate, organise and present a huge volume of information pertaining to flooding – what to do if you are affected by it, disaster prevention strategies for high risk areas, local support available and so on – in a structured, easy to access online format.
“The steps to take if you live in a flood risk area or are affected by flooding; what support is available at a local level; information about flood defences; the risks floods pose to health; issues of water quality and the environment… The Environment Agency was faced with the problem of how to relay a vast array of information in a way that made it easy for people to access and assimilate the relevant information,” says Andy Frost, AdStorm Director.
“We needed a web solution that collated a huge amount of content in a manner that was very user friendly,” echoes The Environment Agency’s Team Leader, Sue McCarthy.
“AdStorm solved this difficult problem by creating a ‘Quick Reference Guide to Flooding’ – an online tool that’s extremely helpful, enabling people concerned about or affected by flooding to quickly find reliable advice; support information and signposting for alerting the relevant organisations,” says Sue.
“We gave The Quick Reference Guide to Flooding microsite functionality,” explains Andy, “In line with our clients’ brief for clarity and ease of use, you can search for information in a number of ways – there’s a keyword search facility, a comprehensive index cataloguing the entire content and there’s also a wealth of material available to download or to print off.”
Digital expertise, research and project management skills exceeded Sue’s expectations. “AdStorm’s input was invaluable from day one,” enthuses Sue. “They came up with an innovative way to categorise a great deal of information in a way that works rather like a ‘help system’ on a PC – and we’re delighted with the results.”
“We put a lot of time into exploring the customer experience,” says Andy, “Putting ourselves in their shoes to identify exactly what they needed to achieve from the site rather than dictating what we thought they needed.”
It’s an approach that’s paid dividends. “This extra attention to detail really added value to the product,” concludes Sue.