Finding support services near you: weeknote 14/02/20

This week’s weeknotes are brought to you by team member Winston Mullings. 

This has been a very exciting week in the wonderful world of ‘Finding support services near you’. We carried out user testing, upskilling research and also gained some valuable insights surrounding scraping information from websites into a database.

User Testing

We gained access to the ‘out the box’ MiDoS front end and started to configure the basic functionality. Unfortunately incorrect admin rights restricted our user testing with residents but, despite this, the session was fruitful. The residents said many things which are in line with the work we are carrying out:

“Listen to what people want, that’s the most important thing.”


The resident testing revealed a disconnect between what they call things and what professionals call things, so will we need to address this in the taxonomy and front-end.


“I Use Facebook but not Instagram or Twitter, I don’t know how that actually works.”

Voluntary organisation

The residents highlighted a wide range of digital platforms that they either already use or are familiar with. The team took this forward with desktop research to assess how easy it is to set up an online presence with WordPress, Wix, MeetUp and Eventbrite; and also whether these platforms offer sufficient fields to hold profile information of organisations. We found that by in large these platforms do have sufficient profile pages, and they are simple to set up; but that’s easy for us to say – we will need to carry out some user testing to validate.


OpenActive is an open source data schema developed by IMIN (as in ‘I’m in’) that scrapes information from websites via a search API. IMIN is now collaborating with MiDoS around how to scrape online content and push to its database. IMIN currently only covers physical activity, but this proof of concept could be widened to the sorts of organisations in scope for this project.

Next week

Annual leave means it may be a slow couple of weeks but we will continue with user testing. We will be including back end user testing with organisations; we will investigate and continue further testing of the taxonomy; and we will continue investigating the opportunity of IMIN populating MiDoS.

Thanks for reading and for your ongoing support!

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