It's a new year, we're welcoming in some new starters, but we're taking the same determination to fight for the user into 2020.
We've all been doing our 6-month content reviews, making sure that all our new content is working as it should.
We'll be getting in touch with stakeholders with any recommendations in the next week or so.
Caroline A's also been preparing for the final show and tell for the Financial Assessments project.
Transforming adult social care
This week the Design Team under the transforming adult social care (TASC) project have been pushing forward with recruitment and preparing for the experiments. There are two in total – one experiment will be working alongside residents in Harlow to explore the concept of resilient and connected communities. The second experiment will be working with frontline social workers to explore ways of working in the future – for example what does a team look like in the future, how does it feel and work? We will be starting on first workshop with social workers on Tuesday in Harlow!
This week we joined Technology Services who are working with Stopford, a booking platform company, to understand the system’s capabilities. It was important to be part of the session to highlight the work of service patterns, where we have designed a “book onto an event” pattern. Most excitingly, Stopford have asked to review the service pattern in more detail, as it provided a user perspective to the ideal journey for bookings.
To see more about service patterns, please read up here:
Essex Highways: report it
I've been preparing for another Essex Highways: report it workshop. In this we workshop, we will review early insights from online testing on topic categories and language, and agree scenarios for user testing, content on pages and on the reporting tool.
Nomensa are our accessibility partner and will be working with us on and off over the next 12 months in a capability building and advisory capacity.
They’ve completed an accessibility audit of a selection of our web estate which highlighted some areas we need to focus on to be compliant with the September 2020 deadline.
In order to achieve this we’re going to have to increase the organisation’s understanding of digital accessibility, which is why we’re really happy Nomensa will be holding their first workshop next week with Comms and Marketing colleagues, with further support to other parts of the organisation in the pipeline.
The Essex 2020 site is due to go live this week and Lotti and Jack in the team have been working tirelessly with everyone involved to make sure the site is passing automated accessibility tests.
One of the most challenging aspects of this work has been supporting 3rd party developers who don’t always have existing knowledge of accessibility issues or experience using the relevant tools. This required us to work in a highly collaborative approach which inevitably proves quite time consuming for all involved – never easy when there’s tight deadlines to meet! However the outcome is a site which is now largely compliant and loads of great learning experience for the team.
Jack also attended a demo session for the Stopfords booking system. It’s really useful to be able to get involved with any system like this at an early stage so we can make sure accessibility requirements are built in from the beginning. With that in mind we’ve also been working with colleagues in Tech Services to make sure we’ve a joint roadmap of future systems.
This week we welcomed service designer, Lin, to the team, and showed her the sights with a spritely hike around Central Park. We're really excited to have her with us.
The way we do weeknotes is changing. As each product team has found its feet, there's more they want to share and we've outgrown the blog.
Now updates from accessibility, financial assessments and essex.gov will be sent out separately.
If you're interested in finding out more drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org
And, of course, we'll still keep you updated with all the interesting stuff we get up to here on the blog.