Weeknotes from Content and Publishing (S1 E9, 10, 11)

Hello there. I manage the Publishing, Content Design and Digital Content teams at the ONS in Digital Publishing. Each week I attempt to give an overview of my work, key projects we’re involved in and how we’re trying to improve the ONS website and its products. You can find me on Twitter.

It’s remarkable how quickly things can change in a few weeks.

Obviously, Digital Publishing’s focus has been all things coronavirus in the last 3 weeks. And that’s my excuse for not updating my #weeknotes in that time.

So here’s a run down of what we’ve been up to in that time and a nod to where we’re going next.

  1. We’ve set up a dedicated page for all data and analysis around the coronavirus. We’re looking to create a short URL for the page to make it easy to promote and share with users.
  2. We’ve added a banner on the homepage to help sign post the landing page.
  3. The Content Design team have been working with output areas on coronavirus-related publications and are proactively looking at ways to ensure consistency in our approach to content that is about, or needs to reference, the virus.
  4. We’ve started publishing all market sensitive releases at 0700 rather than 0930. We’ve set out the reasons, and across the team it’s been terrific to see the collaboration to move a complex publishing process forward a few hours, and have all the safeguards we need to in place and working.
  5. The publishing team has also been responding to a fast-moving set of plans around publications, requiring us to move outputs at short notice, and be as adaptable as we can to an environment which is changing hour by hour.
  6. The Digital Content team is working with output areas on analysis to do with the virus, and the first thing out of the gate was this well-received map of where over-70s live in England and Wales. We’re looking to update this map with additional information in the coming weeks.
  7. The team is also supporting the development of social content out of the analysis, and we’ll be stepping up that effort in the coming weeks
  8. We’ve had a plan approved for a blog-like product aimed at curating all the key data and analysis into a page aimed at non-specialists. We’re fine-tuning the editorial process and hope to get this live in the coming days.
  9. We’re looking at pulling together a helpful page of information which helps users find geographic data, and key information about the appropriate use of boundary files and shape files.
  10. A new coronavirus commissioning group has been set up so we can better share plans and assess ideas at pace. Hopefully the fruits of this will be seen shortly.
  11. We’re continuing to look at how we can improve our homepage, which has languished somewhat unloved for some time . There’s an opportunity here to better promote the content relating to the coronavirus so this has helped focus our attention.