Our Approach

Expertise for the entire service design lifecycle

Our approach is simple: to deliver application performance and better business outcomes across the entire service design lifecycle through a focus on four areas that are fundamental to our success. Across each of our business practices our service runs end-to-end within a consistent framework of process, standards, quality and best practice.

Our Approach : Discover->Design->Develop->Manage
Our Capabilities
  • Discover
  • Design
  • Develop
  • Manage


We believe that effective, useful and usable digital services only come from meeting your users' needs.

Discovery is a set of user-centred research activities focused on helping you to clearly identify and understand the needs and behaviours of your service users, and the existing technical and policy landscape. With this insight you will be in a strong position to design and build your digital service for maximum user uptake and satisfaction, and therefore value for money.

Above all, it gives us a deeper insight to the needs and goals of users and will specifically address “why”, in addition to data-driven analytics which only provide the “what”.

Bringing the vital disciplines together

Using applied qualitative and quantitative techniques from the digital design fields of user experience, service design and interaction design, our researchers and designers work with you to create, optimise or integrate your multi-platform digital services – transactions, intranets, business applications, websites.

User research is carried out onsite at your offices, in the field or at one of our purpose-built research labs situated across the UK.

This helps organisations like yours:
  • Identify needs, issues and barriers from a user perspective
  • Make cost savings through effective use of digital
  • Optimise the online experience for existing services
  • Prioritise a programme of works aligned to digital strategy
  • Provide evidence of benefit before committing to development
  • Develop mature practices
  • Transform staff and user engagement

Case Study:
Online Policing
The National Archive

Case Study:
User Research


How do you understand and translate user needs and complex technical challenges into simple, effective, useful and usable solutions?

At SFW, our design teams turn the insights and recommendations arising through discovery activities into design concepts, sketches and prototypes. We use a defined framework and user insights data to support your design and development decisions. 

On the right tracks

We constantly validate and test design concepts and prototypes with target end-users, ensuring user journeys and navigation are intuitive and easy to use. This is an iterative process resulting in evidence-based design decisions and a working end-to-end prototype.

You’ll have tangible digital assets to socialise within your organisation prior to development and everything in place, ready to move into the next phase.

This helps organisations like yours:
  • Provide proof of concept before committing to development
  • Delight users with great experiences
  • Translate and verify user insights
  • Ensure intuitive user journeys
  • Manage a smooth transition into development

Case Study:
Flexible mobile working

Case Study:

Agile Development

The key to our delivery expertise is Agile, an approach which puts business value firmly at the heart of application development.

Unlike traditional development where requirements are fixed upfront, Agile accepts that clients will change their minds about what they need and constantly refines and reprioritises functionality of greatest value to the business whilst minimising or omitting less important features.

Engaged users, lower risks, better outcomes

That leads to better business outcomes and higher user adoption time and time again.

Agile doesn’t mean that governance is neglected. Far from it. We use a flavour of Agile known as Scrum to provide the standards and technical underpinning our clients expect. These in-built safeguards mean that public sector organisations are also embracing this approach, encouraged by companies like SFW with both public sector capability and 10 years of ever stronger Agile experience.

This helps organisations like yours:
  • Deliver higher user adoption and business impact
  • Focus on user needs and business benefit
  • Respond to change during the development
  • Identify and address risks early on
  • Expand user stories
  • Deploy out-of-the-box SaaS cloud solutions where possible

Case Study:


Agile approach 
at NRW

Applications Management and Secure Hosting

The way we think about running and managing our applications is evolving. Often it’s simply too costly to find and retain the right balance of skills to manage this in-house.

SFW makes it easy for you to deliver the process and performance improvement you’re looking for. We keep your applications running smoothly and efficiently by managing all or part of your applications estate, regardless of size, age or complexity. We identify, plan, configure and manage your hosting requirements via secure cloud providers such as SkyScape and Azure. 

Cost savings without security risks

To allay fears around data security, our service is built around ISO27001, ISO 9001, ITIL, Cyber Essentials Plus and adherence to CESG’s 14 Cloud Security Principles. For example, we manage a Home Office application accessed by every police force in the UK.

You’ll benefit from our experience in handling the most sensitive government applications, including Official and Official (Sensitive).

This helps organisations like yours:
  • Lower operating costs
  • Adapt applications to changing business objectives
  • Manage a smooth transition to the cloud
  • Budget accurately - fixed price or pay-per-use
  • Set service levels in a climate of openness
  • Deliver process and performance improvement
  • Ensure data is handled securely

Case Study: 
Flexible IT
Home Office

Case Study:
Secure Hosting



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