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.

Hackney Spacebank: Weeknotes w/c 23 April

Five things you need to know about Spacebank this week:

Sprint 3 is under way

We started the week with sprint planning. Our goal:

“Defining our measures for success, drilling down into what happens at the end of the library booking process, and sharing our progress with stakeholders via a show and tell.”

Paying for and accessing a library meeting room is the final piece of the puzzle in our user journey. This involves librarians, security staff, finance officers and the end user. To find out more, Winston has been out and about in the borough’s libraries armed with his trusty discussion guide, consent forms and a winning smile.

Mining the data

Joy, our service designer has been mining the data about library bookings. This is hard graft; I am suitably in awe of Joy’s eye for detail and rapid analysis. She’s been trawling through emails for information that will help us to understand:

  • Where we can co-design improvements which will smooth out the booking experience for users
  • What we can measure to determine whether or not we are making a positive difference

Preparing for show and tell

Seeking a bit of inspiration, we prepared for our show and tell by playing the anti-problem game. Planning for “the world’s worst show and tell” was a lot of fun, but importantly it helped us think differently about how we could communicate clearly and creatively. In particular, we are thinking about how to engage attendees more effectively so we get quality feedback on our progress.

Front end developer – unblocked!

I have written about recruitment challenges in previous weeknotes. I’m delighted to say that Sebastian will be joining the team on Monday. Getting this recruitment over the line has been a joint effort with Susan McFarland and Nic Teeman. A problem shared is a problem halved as the saying goes!

Testing, testing, testing

We are over half way into our prototyping phase. We’re getting ready for some rapid testing and iteration in sprints 4 and 5. Central to these early conversations is challenging ourselves to ask the right questions. These tests will put our assumptions under close scrutiny. What we learn over the next couple of sprints will be the foundation of our MVP.

Weeknotes Manage Arrears w.c. 22/4/2019

This week has been very busy for Manage Arrears. We are currently finishing up the last tasks required to release the new ‘Bulk sending’ feature for Leasehold Services next week.

*The developers have removed the stub and we are now pulling ‘real’ data into the system.
*Users have tested the Interfaces for the feature and the feedback has been positive.

In addition to the above, the Income Collection team have now been using the Manage Arrears system in production for 3 weeks. Friday’s feedback session was the most positive so far, as Credit Controllers are now seeing more cases relevant to them. During our feedback session we consolidated all of the team’s feedback, which included 25 user stories. We discussed and prioritised each feature. The three most important features that the caseworkers would like developed next are;

  1. Correct Algorithm
  2. Automation of arrears letters
  3. Ability to view UH Documents in the Manage Arrears system

Next week
We have an exciting week ahead of us next week. We plan to:
Complete the Bulk sending feature
Onboard Leasehold Officers to start using the feature for Service Charge Arrears letters.

Stars of the week
A huge thanks to my project team +Elaine Greeves, +Jermain Graham, +Mark Rosel, +Elena Vilimaite, + Alessandro De Simon, +Miles Alford and +Cormac Brady who have worked extremely hard over the last few weeks developing the above.

Weeknotes Licensing a Rented Property w.c. 22/4/2019

Inspection App

The Property Licencing Inspection App has now been approved by Apple :).

Apple have approved Metastreet’s App with a recommendation that some adjustments are made to the App’s logging in process.

Although the App is in the Apple Store and ready for use, I have asked Metastreet to implement the recommended changes before handing it over to the PSH team for use. The improvements will enhance users experience as officers will be able to;

1. Use the same credentials to access both the new App and the Property Licencing software. This will eliminate the need for them to set up and use two different email addresses for access.

2. Access both the front and back end of the system without restrictions. This will enable them to complete their tasks seamlessly.

Metastreet will be making the above adjustments this sprint and officers will be able to use the App in production late next week.