Our brief focused on digital methods of engagement, with a requirement to make technical information easy to understand and the process for providing feedback user-friendly and simple. Where possible, the platform needed to ensure accessibility as well as offering the information and feedback form in hardcopy. The digital consultation was promoted via a series of Transport for the North-led roadshows and via the organisation’s social media channels.
How we assisted
BECG developed an online virtual platform that clearly set out the eight strands of the strategy Transport for the North needed to consult on. Individuals could navigate through these sections in order or skip to certain areas of the consultation. Given the level of information being communicated and the quantity of questions that individuals were being asked to respond to, the feedback form was developed to allow users to save their responses and complete the form at a later date prior to submission. Individuals also had the option to answer questions on each individual section or to read through and digest all of the information before completing one consolidated feedback form.
Accessibility features that were build into the platform included options to amend the contrast, highlight text, increase font size, increase text spacing, and dyslexia-friendly settings.
Throughout the consultation BECG utilised analytics to show how often people visited the consultation site, whether they had been referred via social media, what times of day people were most likely to log on and which sections of the site were the most popular. This data helped to inform Transport for the North’s ongoing strategy for social media promotion. Printed hardcopies of the information and feedback form were provided to those residents unable to access the digital campaign, as well as providing a Freepost address and email.
The consultation ran for three months from June to August 2021 and successfully gathered feedback from a range of audiences. This feedback was analysed by Transport for the North and used to inform further development of its Decarbonisation Strategy before final publication. The consultation also gathered positive media coverage across the North of England helping to increase engagement and feedback.