Weeknotes 16-20 December

So, it's that most wonderful time of year. With the first flurry of out of offices, we're swapping our backlogs for yule logs, our sprints for a hearty boxing day walk and our stand ups for a nice long sit down.

But before we do, here's what we've been up to this week.

Service Patterns

Continuing with the content review of Service Patterns guidanceThis is really exciting because we are now in a position to get the content live. Even when live, the content will continually be iterated as we learn more about patterns.  

Transforming Adult Social Care 

This week we were in Harlow to continue our engagement for recruits for our experiments which we are planning to start in January. On Tuesday we held a synthesis session as a opportunity for the difference workstreams of the programme to come together and share our learnings to date. 

Essex Highways: report it

This week we had the second report it content workshop. It was good to get the stakeholders involved and together in the same room. 

We went through a card sorting exercise to organise the report an issue landing page. This was a useful exercise as it helped us plan what to test with users on the new year.  We also went through written comms, like status updates, and how we could simplify them. 


We’ve been looking ahead to 2020 and our next steps on the journey to an accessible online estate. Lottie and Jack have been continuing to work on Explore Essex & Essex 2020 and making contact with site owners throughout the business.

Martin has been talking to Tech Service colleagues on how we can implement Smart Answers as an accessible online tool. And Ed and Helen having been organising the first workshop with our accessibility partners Nomensa which will be with Comms and Marketing in early January. 

User research

In this week’s big show and tell of the year we got the chance to look back at what we did in 2019. 

Worth mentioning are:  

We did research testing a different way to present information to users so they better understand a complex process like adult social care with a new design pattern called Step by Step.  

We showed how separating eligibility from general applications massively improved user experience.

We did data-driven testing. But going beyond what the data showed us, using contextual research to reveal what data can’t. We knew what wasn't working but we needed to find out why. 

We tested how residents find information in a directory and saw the  tension between what users need or expect from a tool versus what’s the county’s legal duty to deliver. 

We also tested if ECC Website can be used by residents with disabilities and became fully AA compliant!

Not bad at all!

Team highlight

As well as a super-successful show and tell of the year, we had our team away day at the Future Gov offices in London Bridge.

It was great to get out of the office and look back at what we've achieved this year. It was frank, it was emotional, but more than anything, it was a celebration of what we've built.

Bigger than any project, beyond any goal, we've built a team of compassionate professionals who support one another as much as they care about delivering brilliant services for the people of Essex.

From us all in Service Design, happy Christmas! We'll see you in 2020.


Share this page

1 comment

  1. Comment by Mr M P Cole esq posted on

    Great stuff! Merry Xmas and happy new year to all the team!


Leave a comment

We only ask for your email address so we know you're a real person