City of Antwerp works on digital portal to increase social services

Ordina supports with validation of digital portal

The social services of the City of Antwerp address important social challenges. These include preventing and combating poverty, helping people to spend their time in a meaningful way, social services, integration and much more. From that position, they play an important role in the lives of numerous citizens with different backgrounds.

In order to provide better service to the clients of the social centers, the City of Antwerp is working on a digital portal to increase the self-reliance of citizens and to give them insight into their file and trajectory.

The role of Ordina

After completing an initial service design, Ordina was asked to help validate the concept for a digital portal. We started with a working method in which we made a prototype in an early phase. This allows us to gather feedback from end users in a series of rapidly following iterations. And in this way, decisions are always driven by user input, without losing sight of the customer’s objectives.

The approach has three phases: a business intake phase, a design & prototyping phase and a user research phase. In the execution of the project, prototyping and user research alternate in a series of three sprints.

In the business intake phase we sharpen the scope of the project together with the various stakeholders and discuss the practical organization of user testing.

When the agreements, goals and planning for the user tests are clearly mapped out, it is time to move on to the design and prototyping phase. In this phase, we work out a clickable prototype of the concept, using the corporate identity and the design system of the City of Antwerp as a basis. The prototypes in the concept phase are made in Figma. This is a tool that allows you to quickly convert design to a prototype in which adjustments can easily be made.

A first iteration of the concept was tested with users using a test protocol with scenarios that the users had to run through. This way we can observe how people perform certain actions, where they get stuck, but also what is clear and already works well.

After this iteration 2 more sprints will follow, in which the concept & prototype will be refined and adjustments will be validated in user tests.


The result of this process is a clearly documented research report with user feedback and clear action points for improvement of the concept. We also deliver a validated clickable prototype that can serve as a basis for further development of the customer portal.

Despite the limitations due to the corona lockdown, Ordina organized the user research in the most accessible way possible for our users. The user research based on a clickable prototype provided very useful input from users and employees. During the development preparations, we were often able to refer to the recommendations and input from this user research. The clickable prototype also ensured that we could quickly start the further development and UX trajectory.

– Tim Somers

Project Manager City of Antwerp – social services