• Unpicking data and using it to shape development

    One of the changes we've made to this blog recently is a drive to make it more dynamic, with regular, snappy updates about projects, ideas or anything else related to change and transformation. As I haven't contributed for, ahem, quite a while, I'll use that as an excuse for the less-than-snappy post that follows. This actually started out as a report about a specific piece of work, which evolved into a blog post as I thought it was worth sharing. I hope people find it interesting.
  • Update on Digital Content Strategy

    It has been a while since I blogged on here and I wanted to share some progress around the digital content strategy.

    So the following is a version of a recent update I gave internally using the 5 themes identified in the strategy as the basis for progress – this should give you a flavour of the work we have done and the progress made.

    1. Standards Driven
    2. User Driven
    3. Work with others
    4. Agile and Responsive
    5. Future proof

    The following represents a high level summary of progress

    Standards Driven – (a global experience language)

    Summary Description:

    Our web domain will be an ecosystem or network of solutions all governed by a set of rules (a global experience language, or GEL ) so they look, talk and behave like part of the core and are also searchable and indexed from a single (federated) search facility.… Read the rest

  • Writing for the web

    Up until a few months ago, when I started working on content for our new social care and health beta web pages, I thought that writing for the web was easy. Surely the techniques for writing good print copy would be the same for digital content?The existing Devon County Council social care site has evolved over several years, with a confusing navigation and lots of unnecessary content aimed at staff rather than the public. Many pages are lacking in Plain English, with overly long sentences, too much jargon and excessive use of third-person narrative.As I began writing for the beta site, I soon realised that my understanding of what makes good online copy was quite basic. With a limited knowledge of keywords and SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) I wasn't sure if I was doing the right things to attract users to our pages and then keep them there.
  • WordPress as a corporate CMS

    This post could be seen as a part 1 or part 2 in a series as my colleague Sam Freeman will also be writing a post about wordpress, but more about the background as to why we chose it as a team. This post focuses on the corporate CMS opportunity of wordpress and to dispel a few myths that it is simply a blogging platform.

    As a team, we’d all agreed that WordPress was the sensible platform to go with. We had enough HTML / CSS skills in the team to create templates and themes as well as PHP / MySQL skills in order to tweak and create bespoke functionality.… Read the rest