https://servicedesign.blog.essex.gov.uk/2019/05/24/weeknotes-20-24-may/

Weeknotes 20-24 May

This week the plan was to tie up all the loose ends before essex.gov.uk goes live, but truth be told, that’s led to pulling at some threads. Still, as we go into yet another bank holiday weekend, I think there’s a tentative sense of calm descending.

Service design

Nic’s been having a look at the outputs from the Adult Social Care Information, Advice and Guidance project, with a view to getting a better understanding of the impact of our design concepts.

He also talked through some service patterns stuff at our well-attended show and tell. This was our second show and tell in the new workspace, and it worked really nicely. Nic’s got a blog post coming about how we made it happen coming next week.

In the meantime, he’ll be putting the pedals to the metal and cycling off on holiday to Thorpeness (though that might change to Sore-pness after all that time in the saddle).

User research

Ben, Magda and Georgiana have been synthesising the notes they made from the accessibility testing last week. They pored over hours and hours of testing footage, and gave the rest of us their headline findings at our show and tell on Wednesday. For those of us who couldn’t observe the testing directly, this was fantastic, and really validated our accessibility first approach.

Ben’s also been working with Bhupinder and Nic to develop the Introduction to Service Design module for the Management Acceleration Programme. When this is ready, it’ll be a fantastic platform to promote and share ways of working with colleagues across the council.

Product

Matt’s been smoothing over some last little bits of project paperwork, as well as liberally distributing quiet words of encouragement and gentle nudges as required to make sure everyone has what they need to get the new website over the line.

He also found time to hobnob with some local government tech bigwigs at a conference in London.

Helen has been in non-stop comms mode. She’s spoken to more than 50 contact centre staff, making sure they know what to find where, so they can hit the ground running when the new site goes live. These are some of the most hardened users of the current site, so it’s been fascinating to see what they make of the new one. The response has been overwhelmingly positive: easier to navigate, easier on the eye, and no one’s missing the ‘jolly photos’.

Content

This week Sheila got the final two sections of the Schools and learning section signed off. This is huge. Getting this bit of the site right is vital, it drives the most traffic, and houses some of the trickiest content. I’ve been having a look through it today, and it looks great. School’s out!

Hannah’s been redesigning the some of our licencing pages, and doing some heavy lift and shift work in the rest of the business section.

Caroline A’s shepherded masses of Environment and Planning content into the new site templates, as well as keeping on top of our migration spreadsheets.

Caroline M’s been finalising our Privacy Notices and taking care of some other bits a pieces that have come up.

Collette’s been getting down to the nitty gritty of, redirects, broken links, typos, all the things that have to be tied up for the new site to work seamlessly when we launch.

I’ve been making some final amends to the Registrars and Running the Council sections.

Team highlight

This week Vicky, Nic, Helen and Collette holed themselves up offsite to plan our roadmap for the next 18 months. It’s a work in progress, but a well-placed source tells me that it’s shaping up very nicely. And I have a feeling there could be some really exciting things coming up for our team after essex.gov.uk goes live.

If you’d like to know more, get in touch. We’re service.design@essex.gov.uk

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