Planning our next 100 days

2016 is off to a great start – we spent last week looking back on our work in our previous 100-day drive and looking ahead to plan our next 100 days of work.

Welcome

This month sees the start of our new Programme Director, Ross Ferguson. Ross has joined us from the University of Bath, where he headed up the team transforming digital publishing and service delivery across the university. We’re looking forward to hearing lots from Ross as he settles into our team. Welcome aboard!

Update on the last 100 days

Content

  • Justice – review and final iterations to Victims and Witnesses content following on from peer review – further content team research and ideation, incorporating a number of usability testing suggestions 
  • Justice – Research and creation of content around eligibility and the application process for Legal Aid 
  • Education – providing content to cover the school-leaver journey (applying for financial support and applying to higher education) 
  • Business – discovery and production of high-level exporting content including extensive collaboration with stakeholders in the Scottish business community, represented by the Customer Alignment Group 
  • Housing – holding stakeholder planning workshops and writing content for buying, selling and building a house, including information on grants and help to buy schemes 
  • BAU – managing the content inbox, working with GOV.UK via Zendesk, creating a content mapping process, writing content based on enquiries to the Central Enquiry Unit 

Publishing Platform features

  • Adoption of a tabbed interface on the content editing interface 
  • Implementation of a markdown editor 
  • Image and PDF storage – backend work complete, front-end work carried forward 
  • Notifications of expired content – expired content displayed in Publishing Platform interface, push notifications carried forward 
  • Creating Help and Support pages and linking them where relevant for gov.scot and mygov.scot 
  • Implementation of new content formats for gov.scot 
  • Design and implementation of UI – partially complete, carried forward. 

 Infrastructure

  • Authentication refactor – carried forward ✗

Digital style guidelines

Format review

  • Carried forward as part of next phase of work ✗

Usability and accessibility testing

  • gov.scot user testing, mygov.scot accessibility testing and Victims and Witnesses content testing 
  • User testing carried out on mobile devices for 50% of tests 

The next 100 days

In terms of what we’re looking to achieve next, the five main areas of work are:

Publishing Platform features

  • There’s a lot that we want to do to support the needs of users of the publishing platform and to better service the needs of users of our site. One big piece of work is to aid the editorial workflow through the additional of new roles and privileges.
  • Another area we want to sort out is the ability to link to content in a new way – at the moment we use the slug URL but sometimes content has to move around. Whenever content moves we need to go back and rework the links to that content – the next step will be to link to content by ID, allowing content to move without affecting links.
  • On the flip side of maintaining links inside our site, we are also looking to improve the monitoring and tools around maintaining links out of from our site – often outside organisations make large structural changes to their sites and their content moves. We want to pick these changes up on a more routine basis as part of our day-to-day work and are looking to build a small feature around this.

Infrastructure

  • We have some ambitious goals around reworking our publishing platform’s authentication, maturing it to offer the features and tools required by a large publisher user base.
  • We are also going to look at how we can better surface content when a user searches within our site. Recently there have been some niggles where the way some of our content formats are indexed hasn’t allowed the content to appear as highly for some terms as we would like.
  • Things in this digital world are changing and another area we’re looking at is to stay current – one of the frameworks we use, Angular, has just moved on to a new version (2.0 is in Beta). We are going to look at what it will take to upgrade as part of our next batch of work.

Life events

  • One of the most powerful aspects of our site is the way we can help a visitor to a site in a time of need. For example, if you have just lost your job you might just be looking for one piece of content (information about your legal rights) but our site can surface different threads that become a part of that (debt, stress or mortgage advice). We are going to do some research around how we portray life events on the site, how users might want to interact with these, and how we can surface the right content in search.

Content

  • Our content work roughly forms into two categories – business as usual on the work we’ve already started and have in our pipeline, and the commitments that we’ve taken on for new content. We’ll share more about this content in the coming weeks.

Programme level work

  • We are going to refine our process for getting links to our content.
  • We are going to refine how we are approaching sites for decommissioning.
  • We are going to put in place a clear route for how we transition citizen-focussed gov.scot site content onto the mygov.scot site.

We’ll update you on our work over the coming weeks. As always, if you are keen to get a closer look at our work then give us a shout on Twitter or Yammer and come along to one of our product demos.

Follow the team via @mygovscot on Twitter for more updates. Want to comment? Let us know below!