Who we are

dxw is an employee owned digital agency that works with the public and third sectors.

Since 2008, we’ve worked in partnership with our clients to improve people’s lives by designing, building, running, and improving digital public services. We support the public sector teams we work with to build their own digital capability and take an iterative user-centred approach to service design.

Being employee owned means dxw is managed in the best interests of our staff, now and in future. We have written our mission and values into our founding documents, so dxw is also run in the interests of the people we build services for.

The challenge facing the public sector today is a significant one. There’s more pressure than ever to deliver online services quickly and save money. It’s a huge job and, in addition to talented in-house teams, the sector needs expert suppliers who share their values and understand how to work with them.

We want people’s experience of public services to be positive and seamless. That means creating great services that are accessible to everyone. Our approach is to add value early and often, rapidly researching, testing, learning, and delivering on time. Wherever we can, we work in the open, sharing our code, and what we’ve learned.

Our aim is to help the public sector make the most of the opportunities digital offers to make services better for the people who depend on them. And, ultimately, to free up more resources for essential front line services like education, health and social care, housing, welfare, and policing.

Our values #

We think that it’s very important to have a talented team if we’re going to succeed. But just as important as raw talent is our ability to work well together. These are the values that we aspire to, and help each other to achieve.

Helpful #

We are helpful, useful and expert. We give practical and pragmatic advice to each other, and to our clients.

Positive #

We are positive, cheerful and supportive. Even in crisis, we stay optimistic. We assume good faith and offer constructive challenge.

Reliable #

We are reliable, consistent and committed. We make every effort to live up to each others’ expectations, and to exceed the expectations of our clients.

Honest #

We are honest, trustworthy and straightforward. We give plain-spoken, frank, accurate feedback and advice, and we never mislead or obscure the issue at hand.

Curious #

We are curious, diverse and creative. We help each other to learn and improve and we’re sensitive to each others’ needs. We love technology and finding new ways to solve problems.

Determined #

We are determined, discerning and motivated. We believe in high standards, we enjoy doing things properly, and we’re loath to settle for less.

Our principles #

These principles help us live up to our values, and guide our behaviour and decision making in all the things we do at dxw.

Start with people and their needs #

At dxw we want to create public services that work well for everyone who depends on them.

We start by understanding the different people who will use and be affected by a service. Wherever possible we work with them to design and test the things they will use.

We actively consider the intended and unintended consequences of our work on people, communities and the planet.

Keep an agile mindset #

At dxw, we think that agile is a mindset that’s accepting of change, curious about trying new approaches to make things better, and values careful planning in short chunks.

We think that the Agile Manifesto contains a lot of wisdom, but we don’t follow the industry of methodologies, training and certifications that has grown up around it. We think agile is something you learn to be, not something that you learn to do.

We recognise the importance of compliance and governance, so we build those activities into each step.

Work at a sustainable pace #

At dxw, we work at a sustainable pace. We estimate work and schedule it conservatively, and set realistic expectations with clients about the pace of delivery.

This doesn’t mean that we don’t work hard. Being productive is a vital part of maintaining the trust that our clients give us, and it’s important not to let them down.

Balance openness and confidentiality #

dxw believes it’s best to be open about what we’re doing. We encourage our clients to do the same, as does the service manual. We talk, blog and write about what we’re doing, and we are open about as much as we can.

At dxw, we release code, publish our contracts and things like this Playbook and talk with people about what we’re up to because we believe that we’ll ultimately have more opportunities to work, grow and improve than if we kept everything to ourselves.

However, there are some things that we must keep private.

  • Our clients trust us to host content that is not public, like upcoming announcements and discussions made as part of formulating new policy. This is not our information to be open about, and it’s very important to keep it confidential.
  • We also hold some personal data about and/or on behalf of our clients. We never share any of this data, including contact details. See also: data protection.
  • We are sometimes sent documents that are protectively marked, and we have a scheme of our own. Information in these documents is confidential.
  • Information about work that is currently being procured (whether we are bidding or not) and any other information that could damage the commercial interests of a client or supplier

Make everything we do accessible #

At dxw we want to make sure that everyone can access the digital services we create, including our own websites, communications and colleague resources.

We follow the guidance in the GOV.UK Service manual to help us to meet government accessibility requirements.

And to create a consistent approach to digital accessibility, our Playbook has additional guidance for our different professions.

Reduce our impact on the environment #

It is our responsibility that future communities can thrive. So we will lead by example, and demonstrate how to make choices that are both people and planet centred.

We are carbon neutral and working towards net zero emissions.

We have an internal group who meet regularly to talk about how dxw can respond to the climate and ecological crisis.

Diversity and inclusion statement #

At dxw, we value people and want them to feel free to be themselves.

We embrace each other’s differences, in gender, religion, beliefs, ethnicity, disability, age, sexual orientation, neurotype, nationality, and identity. We are diverse - like the people we build, design, and create for.

Amazing things happen when we collaborate together. We work in the open and believe everyone’s voices should be heard.

We recognise individual needs and aim to provide a work environment that is accessible, welcoming, and empowering for all. We want everyone to feel supported and included in our wider community.

Our values are more than just words on a page - it’s about constant action and holding ourselves to account.

We’re committed to being transparent with our diversity information and regularly assessing the impact of all our policies and practices.

Our approach is set out in our Inclusion, diversity and equal opportunities policy.

Thank you for being you - it makes us better.

Our Board of Trustees #

As an employee owned agency, the dxw directors are accountable to our Board of Trustees for the performance of the company. The trustees make sure dxw meets its targets, is run in the best interests of the staff, and delivers on our mission to create public services that improve lives.

The Board of Trustees is chaired by dxw’s founder and has 2 employee trustees elected by the staff, together with 2 external trustees who bring outside expertise and challenge.