Bore Da/ Good morning and welcome to another roundup of activities from ONS Digital Publishing
Apologies for bringing this to you later than usual but as you may have seen from other posts, we have had our hands full with one or two things.
So what’s been happening?
Last Monday we kicked off the main events in our Digital Festival, where we focused on digital skills for the month of February. The festival aims to provide staff across the organisation with practical ideas and tips, which they can use straight away in their day job and in some cases at home. The exciting programme combines the talents of our internal specialists, with a range of guest speakers including Tim Lloyd and Helen Reynolds who will share their experiences and hopefully inspire staff to learn more about using digital in the workplace. The festival supports the organisation’s commitment to prioritise Digital as a core skill under the Civil Service Capabilities Plan.
Our first session Writing for social media @ONS aimed to improve everyone’s writing skills for this channel. Longer term, the outcome will be to evidence better engagement off-site, more traffic to the site and more time on the site compared to a user coming to it by other means. The session was well attended and received positive feedback, especially in the form of “wanna be” hootsuiters.
in other news.
We have started work on the restructure of the Guidance and Methodology section of the website. As we did when we revamped About ONS, we are starting by analysing page views – specifically those with less than100 views, to inform (policy permitting) which pages may be most eligible for removal. We have also been preparing a presentation and demonstration for the ‘Get your teeth into Jaws’ seminars, designed to educate staff on how people who are visually impaired use our website. The interactive session will guide them through the wonders of Jaws; a comprehensive screen reading program, that helps those who are visually impaired to navigate websites, and Dragon, the world’s best selling speech recognition software, that turns your talk into website commands.
Our editorial and design teams have been busily experimenting with new formats which make our statistics more accessible and appealing to a wider audience. The 13 facts about divorces was extremely well received on twitter along with the more detailed infographic and supporting analysis. Media seemed to like our “13 divorces an hour” approach, giving the statistics more of a human feel. Our Head of Design also attended the Leading Business by Design conference to pick up some further tips on creating products which are user focused.
We are delighted to be sponsoring National Hack The Government an annual hack day run by Rewired State. This will be a great opportunity to showcase the work we have been doing to improve access to ONS data through our data explorer and API.