We’re approaching our final sprint for the launch of essex.gov.uk, and we’re doing everything we can to make sure we get over the finish line.
Magda’s been carrying on with the accessibility audit with the Shaw Trust. So far we’ve observed testers using screen readers, keyboard-only navigation and testers with visual impairments and learning difficulties.
You can read a bit more about our legal duties around accessibility in our blog post.
From the first line of code we wrote, we’ve had accessibility at the forefront of our minds, and no major issues have been identified with the site so far, which is fantastic. We’ve logged some minor issues that we’ll be tweaking, but the really big pitfalls are all related PDFs, forms or directories.
We’re getting the full report at the start of June, so stay tuned for more updates.
Ben’s been scouting for user-groups who’ll help us understand the way people use the website now, and how it should work in the future.
He’s also been dipping in to the Service Design Fast Track Programme. Futures Academy fans will be pleased to know, we’ve worked with FutureGov to develop an intense service design experience, condensed into just one day. It’s helping us develop people’s skills and confidence against a range of core service design principles and tools.
Georgiana’s celebrated her first full week in Essex by strategizing with Magda and Ben about growing the user panel, as well as planning some testing for the education content Sheila’s been working on.
Caroline A attended the fast track programme, and has also been getting on with the heavy lifting of migrating the Environment and Planning content over to the new website.
Caroline M’s been chasing down some lists of outdated PDFs that exist on the current site. Some go back almost 15 years. Happily we’re able to dispense with most of these. She’s been talking over some contact us stuff, which is really close to being sorted and is getting stuck in to the 90-odd pages of privacy statements that exist on the current site.
Sheila’s been planning some research for our education content with Georgiana, as well as pitching in with the great contact us debate.
Most impressively, she got the devilishly detailed school transport content signed-off, which is great.
Collette’s been talking to our Comms team about our new content strategy, which sounds like it was a really productive meeting. This is really good as it’s the blue print for building on the foundations we’ve laid with the new essex.gov.uk.
Less interesting, but no less importantly, she’s also been ensuring that all our short URLs and redirects work when the new site goes live.
I’ve been working on some Children’s Services content, as well as getting our Registrars pages looking tiptop.
Nic’s been busy with the Service Design Fast Track Programme, as well as rounding off the first phase of the common service patterns work. We now have a live prototype patterns library, which we’ll be talking about more next week.
We’ve brought together all of our insights and opportunity areas on the Adult Social Care Information, Advice and Guidance work. We’ve turned these into a future service blueprint, and worked with the whole team to iterate and work out how best to share and explore it with internal and community stakeholders. Rebecca Jarvis, the Adult Social Care strategic lead for this work has recently shared more on our change blog.
Bhupinder’s had a gala week, travelling a lot and learning a lot. On Tuesday she was in sunny Birmingham for the LARIA Awards Evening, being highly commended for her work in a previous life on libraries.
Then on to Ipswich for training with the Transformation Academy on delivering change and design in complex environments, like social care.
We welcomed Georgiana into the team with a lovely Italian lunch by the river during Chelmsford’s very brief spell of Mediterranean weather this week.
If you want to get in touch, we’re firstname.lastname@example.org