Improving our content on GOV.WALES: putting users first

Darllenwch y dudalen hon yn Gymraeg

We’re continually looking for ways to improve what we publish online as part of the changes we’re making to GOV.WALES. To support this improvement journey we have recently set up a series of content critiques, or crits for short, bringing together all those involved in designing web content from across Welsh Government.

What is a crit?

Content crits usually involve a small group of content designers meeting up to discuss their work and receive feedback on it.

These sessions are a great way for content designers and others involved in designing content for the web to come together to get advice, share their work or even just get some reassurance that what they are doing is right. They are also a really useful way of testing ideas, as well as providing support to those involved in the content development process.

Why are we using them?

We’ve previously blogged about the importance of developing GOV.WALES to meet the needs of our users. Crits help us do this by bringing together those people whose aim it is to put the needs of users first – our content designers!

Content designers constantly put themselves in the place of the users. Drawing on a range of data, evidence and research, they are the people that influence subject experts, designers and developers so that whatever we produce meets the needs of our users.

As with other specialists within the Digital, Data and Technology (DDaT) profession, we recognise the important role content designers play within Welsh Government and are committed to ensuring we nurture and develop their skills. Holding regular crits enables us do this by continuing to build confidence, skills and expertise within our content design community.

Crits also give us the opportunity to take a more transparent approach to the way we design our web content. By bringing people together and openly sharing our work they ensure we work more collaboratively with others from across the organisation.

So far so good

So far we’ve held a couple of crits with discussions relating to web content around health and housing. As a newbie to the Corporate Digital Team it was great to see the number of people attending these first sessions. There was a range of people who are involved in writing and publishing content for the web from across the organisation. As well as content designers we also had web managers and people involved in digital marketing and communications.

We’re keen to build on the success of these first sessions and already have a number of future sessions planned. Hopefully before long you’ll get to see benefits of these as we continue with our development of GOV.WALES.

Post by Suzanne Donovan, Content designer, Corporate Digital Communications Team, Welsh Government

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