Croeso/Welcome to this week’s update on the work of the Digital Publishing Division at the Office for National Statistics
Last week seemed to be all about our users in one way shape or form.
We kicked off the week with two days of usability testing of a search journey prototype, carried out by our in-house user information architect at our London office. We had a small group of participants, ranging from expert heavy- data users to the occasional visitor. The participants were asked to perform search and find tasks designed to test the prototype journey along with pages they would come into contact with along the way. Analysis is now underway to help us decide on how we move forward.
In addition, we had discussions about building our own user testing lab. This will prove a good investment in the long term, allowing us to carry out usability testing more often, avoiding the need to find external resources and allow us to engage more closely with other areas of the business.
We started the week with a really good introduction to data visualisation from our in-house team. Colleagues across digital publishing got the opportunity to format charts and tables in a visually appealing manner and learn some tricks of the trade that help make even the most boring data more visually appealing.
It was also the week for our monthly Improving Dissemination Programme (IDP) Delivery board where we discuss progress against a number of key milestones. We discussed Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) following a meeting with GDS last week, which highlighted the opportunity to make use of their Performance Platform to present the data. We also discussed the work we are doing to improve the accessibility of our site
On our Publishing Operations side of things, work is on track with an audit review on the many publishing policies we have, ensuring that they are up to date, relevant and that there is ownership. We are also looking at any policies we need to introduce as a result of the way we are now publishing our outputs. Also Sam Hall, Head of Publishing Operations had a productive meeting with Data.Gov.UK around some issues they had been having with broken links and as a result have worked up a plan to manage these in the future.
We welcomed Alison Saunders as Head of User Insight and Innovation, managing our social media and web analytics teams. Alison joins us from DVLA where she worked in a similar role, bringing with her a wealth of knowledge and experience on knowing and understanding users.
We’re working on analysing recent smoking trends and preparing for a release on healthy life expectancy, focussing on topics that we hope are of user-interest. Watch out for this and other exciting development work on storytelling through infographics.