Buckinghamshire Council Website: Weeknote #11

Tom Harrison
Jan 10 · 3 min read

w/c 6th January

I’m calling this week 11. It’s not, it’s actually week 13 (elapsed time) but given the two weeks we had for Christmas I think it’s less confusing than service design theologians of the future trying to find missing weeknotes. Which would probably lead to weeknotes 12 and 13 being considered some kind of Gnostic text.

This week (and a bit of time over Christmas) we:

  • Created some new homepage designs to test with residents, inspired by some feedback from the Gambling Commission. They had taken a similar design approach to us with bullet points under headings, but feedback from users was that it was harder to differentiate between sections quickly. We haven’t had this specific feedback from users yet, but there’s no harm in testing out some more ideas so we’ve created some alternative designs inspired by their solution of putting each section into a box.
  • Finished iterating our designs for the “find and apply for a job” service based on user feedback. We’ve added more details to the entry each job has on the search results page to make them more informative, and added a “promoted jobs” section for hard-to-fill posts. The updated clickable prototype is here.
  • Had a catch-up about what we needed to have ready for the MVP launch on 22nd Jan. From beta onwards (April) pages that cover content on legacy sites that haven’t been migrated will link directly to the relevant page of the legacy site. Whilst for the alpha we can do this for the county services it’s not going to be possible for district services due to the sheer number of pages and links. Instead, we’re creating a generic block that will explain why this content is missing and link back to the homepage of the district site.
  • We also need to add at least some content to the alpha rather than having an empty hierarchy of pages, so we’ll be adding descriptions for the various service and section headings to test with users.
  • Met with the various workstream teams across the wider unitary programme to talk about our project and make sure everyone understands the approach that we’re taking, the implications of it, answer questions etc. It also gave us a chance to find out a bit more about each workstreams priorities and get an idea of what sort of things would be coming down the pipeline to us and when (updated Council Tax info, soon being an example).
  • Started designing some specific elements for the Libraries service. Libraries will be the first service we move across to the new site in its entirety, so we’re using it as a bit of a test bed to get an idea of a) how much we might need to customise our global page templates for specific services, b) how many custom elements we might need to build and how generic they seem. As an example, people can book rooms at Libraries, which enables us to create a “book a thing” (library room, football pitch, etc) pattern. Prototypes can be seen here.

What we’re thinking about

Trello boards and how to rationalise them. They’ve been proliferating over the last couple of months as we need to keep track of different things, and we need more in depth ways of tracking some things than we can put on the main board without it getting unwieldy. As a result we now need a Trello board to keep track of all of our Trello boards.

Next week

  • Tidying things up for the alpha launch.
  • Testing our new “find and apply for a job” service with users in Aylesbury.
  • Looking at better ways of splitting up the content currently held under “Community and Safety”, “Environment”, “Culture and Tourism” and “Health, Wellbeing and Sports” which all kind of overlap with each other.
  • Start investigating the API for the recruitment team’s back office system (TalentLink by Saba) so that we can integrate it into the new service.

Buckinghamshire Digital Service

Blog posts from the team who are creating a new website for the Buckinghamshire Council

Tom Harrison

Written by

Senior Delivery Manager at Unboxed

Buckinghamshire Digital Service

Blog posts from the team who are creating a new website for the Buckinghamshire Council

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