Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Workshops, Workshops, Workshops...

We are now into the latter half of the Workshop sessions with Squiz to look at what we want to include in the new University website. Some workshops have been great (wireframes, design, etc) and some have been rather slow, but necessary, Metadata & taxonomy for example (Sorry Nelson!)

However, what does appear to be coming out in these meetings is that the are very similar ides around what the website should do. For example, functionality wise people expect the website to degrade well when viewed on a mobile device. If that question was asked a few years ago people wouldn't have put a Responsive Design at the top of their lists! This not only highlights the fact that people are aware of smart phones but also that they way in which people are using them is changing as well. We currently have 15% of all our visitors coming to us on a mobile device, that's double the figure for this time last year... This highlights the moving target we are dealing with, potentially as soon as we deliver the website we will need to start development work to keep up with the evolving market! A great argument for a structured development plan...

However, one of the most exciting parts of the analysis stage (for me) is looking at what issues people currently have and how they can be fixed, effectively trying to make peoples lives easier! The list is reasonably long, as you would expect with a project this size, but so far nothing has been highlighted that can't be dealt with.

As we roll into our last few weeks of workshops it make me even more confident that the next 7 months will be extremely exciting...

Friday, 23 November 2012

Movember - I've reached the creepy stage...

I think this video sums up how most of the University of Hertfordshire Movember team are feeling at the moment...

It's not too late to donate and make it all worth while though! -

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Digital Innovation in the Public Sector

Westminster Abbey
Last week I was invited to present at the latest Squiz Seminar session at Westminster Abbey. The session was titled "Digital Innovation in the Public Sector" and focused on ways of making projects easier for Public Sector bodies.

As we have recently run through a tendering process using the G-Cloud Framework I decided that would be an ideal topic to present on. Having given an overview of where the project stood at the point of my arrival I then ran through how the G-Cloud Framework facilitated a fast selection and purchase of a new CMS. Following on from the presentation there was a chance for the audience to question me about the process! A good deal of talk later and the final question came up "Are there any negatives to using the G-Cloud Framework?"

My answer?

"I can't say a single negative thing about it - it saved the project."

The day was well attended and highly informative and it's always a pleasure to speak about success stories. A highlight for me also was that my fellow presenter Matthew Hutton, gave a fantastic overview of the NOMS project to implement a new intranet... potentially an area for us to review post-launch of the external website!

You can see a copy of my presentation below.