Show & Tell: Re-engineering Hackney Content w.c. 01/05/19

Thanks to all who came to our May Day show and tell on Wednesday. There was no civil unrest, in fact, everyone was very helpful with their feedback. Here are the slides.

Headlines are:
– UI toolkit is ready to share with 3rd parties now
– Moving to GDrive for assets like PDFs
– Design almost finished for the content template and now moving onto navigation
– Technical limitations we’ve encountered with the CMS

Verification Hub: Weeknotes 03/05/19

We have now had confirmation that we can include data on our Housing Tenants in the VH which will expand the data core but also mean a bit more work to get the data into ClearCore over the next couple of weeks.

Tom Clark has built initial data hub in ClearCore version 5 using data Council and Parking Permits. Next steps are to load Housing Benefits data and run some analysis around how well VH would have performed on recent permit applications.

Matt Keyworth has deployed the new VH API into AWS, this will make it much easier for Parking supplier Farvest Gate to access. We had call with Farvest Gate to start planning the next steps for them to start work on connecting the API and how we can proceed with a phased deployment of VH in Liberator Permit system.

We have taken some time to map out the outstanding questions we have about how we treat parking data in the new world and this is now with Charlene, our product owner, to discuss in more detail with Parking colleagues and take some decisions. This is going to be important for the coming weeks as Steve Farr starts to work on the data engineering processes for Tenants, Benefits and Parking data.

The project team have been suffering a bit again this sprint with conflicting priorities – we are all working on this for only a small portion of their time and over the last few sprints, attention has been waning. We are all going to try and commit some more time and focus over the next few weeks as we get to deploying and live testing our prototype.

Our previous project weeknotes are available on our project page on Pipeline.

Managing people data project – weeknotes

Where are we?
We are four weeks into our discovery phase and we are on target of the scope. We have interviewed just under 50% of our selected participants, including users from HR policy, corporate property, security, payroll and facilities management parts of the organisation, people who collate, process and report on people data within the organisation.
Some strong themes have already started emerging, confirming some of the things that we identified as possible problems with the way people data is managed in the in the council.
Themes around data quality, data sources, system processes and reporting are some of the strongest themes emerging.

How we do it
We strongly believe that user research is a team sport, so to ensure our collective learning, through this discovery phase, we have a “wash-up” session after each research interview. This involves the research interviewer(s) playing back from their notes and recordings, all their findings from the just concluded interviews, to the entire team.
We are enjoying working in this way because it means that we are all always on the same page in our learning journey on this project and also able to offer, each one of us, our views on what our users might be saying.

Looking ahead
The next few weeks will be exciting as we draw discovery to a close and prepare to enter exploratory phase.

We have also kicked off the process of recruiting a service designer to join the team. Fingers crossed, we’ll be welcoming someone in a couple of weeks.

Thanks
Special thanks to everyone who has given us their time throughout this process and particular thanks to our awesome participants. We value all that you have helped us to learn.

Weeknotes: Re-engineering Hackney Content w.c. 29/04/19

Hackney has a vast number of pdfs across its website and we spent time last week reviewing our options of where to put them. In an ideal world, this content would be in HTML and searchable and we will work with services to advise on this approach going forward. In the meantime, we still need to host them somewhere.

Contentful has a very clunky way of categorising content that is not particularly user-friendly and, at some point, costs may be incurred. Google Drive, on the other hand, allows categorisation ad infinitum and has a significantly easier way of uploading content. It’s also a step closer to encouraging services to create documents in Google Docs instead of PDFs; which, in turn, is a step closer to HTML. We’ll be looking closer this week at this option.

Working our way through Libraries, Archives and Culture has highlighted the fact that we pretty much need to design the entire site before we can launch any section. That means site-wide and page announcements, accordions, anchor links, newsletter sign-ups, contact blocks, iFrames for slideshows and videos, style sheets… all in desktop and mobile. The only design component that doesn’t feature in this section is tables, whose absence is not going to save us a whole heap of time.

For this reason, we’re not anticipating being able to launch the first section until the end of May.

Helping us with content population this week are Boo and Neelam from Skinners’ Academy. They are here on a work experience placement and, lest they fear the digital industry is all about copy and paste, they will be chatting through design, development, user research and delivery opps with Carolina Gaspari, Mohamed Mulla, Wingwo Kwai and Philippa Newis as well.

Following our belief that we can get the site down to a four-tier hierarchy, I won’t tell you how long I spent this weekend creating a Lego model of Hackneyville. This recreates the site-map of the existing website in glorious 3D Technicolor and highlights the towering scale of the regeneration ahead.