Show & Tell, August 29 2014

Posted in: Show & Tell

Using a primary school analogy, my second experience of ‘Show & Tell’ felt like I had won some ‘Golden Time’ for good behaviour. I really enjoyed the session as we had four really interesting topics followed by some great questions from around the room.

Prospectus roles and permissions – Tom T

Tom T took us through the work he and Liam had done on roles and permissions in their discovery sprint for the prospectus app. They looked at the permissions needed in the app according to the different views on data and how people would view subsets of information. The result is that roles and permissions have now been identified with a split between digital and print and a table/matrix has been created of the roles and permissions and views combined. A basic demo app has been set up and there will be further iterations on future sprints.

Group Manager was used for this process and the role based information could be used for a general publishing app in the future.

Pivotal – Ross

PivotalTracker is a collaborative project management tool designed for agile development projects. It was initially designed by Pivotal for internal use for their projects but then released externally as a product for public use.

Ross gave us a brief overview of some interesting aspects of the tracker using GOV.UK as an example with a view to using it for our own future projects alongside Trello. He’s happy to talk people through it further at any time.

Key points:

  • The boards can be closed or public
  • Epics are massive areas of development that need to be broken down into stories
  • Epics are used as labels on stories
  • Every entry has its own ID. You can share just that ID/ card with other people as required
  • The Icebox is used for prospective work for the future
  • There are different labels for bugs, features, and chores
  • You can use a bar to split the backlog into handy sections
  • You can do a lot without even opening up a card
  • There are several different states: started, delivered, finished, reviewed, accepted/ rejected
  • You can view a full history and are able to find old stories because of the labelling and epics
  • The tracker does an automatic calculation of the possible velocity and the actual velocity of a project
  • You can allocate points within a scale to a task which helps with an estimate of velocity.

All in all it looks a really useful tool that we could use effectively.

What is going on in the world of social media? And what are universities doing about it? - Charlotte

Charlotte has done some research into social media and provided some insight into what universities are doing with it in order to engage with students and potential students. She concentrated on use of emerging channels rather than traditional channels.

16-18 year olds are increasingly using channels such as WeChat, Vine, Flickr and YouTube as they are moving away from Facebook.

Key points to note from studies on universities in the UK are:

  • 1/5 of students think that universities do not use social media enough in recruitment and many did not even know that their prospective universities had social media accounts
  • They think that information on social media is “untrustworthy” and “irrelevant” and also said that “They do not talk about the things we need to know”
  • Less than 1 in 5 were influenced by Twitter profiles
  • Less than 1 in 4 were influenced by Facebook profiles.

So whilst social media is growing and changing and could be a great way to engage with target audiences, it is also a difficult line to tread.

American universities in particular are generally more successful in engaging with young people via the channels they use whilst British universities are still showing some resistance to using it as more than a means to push out a message. There is plenty of potential to improve the way we engage with potential students.

Homepage prototype – Liam

Keen to point out that Dan did a lot of the investigation work on the homepage prototype; Liam showed and told us about the three releases up to this date. The prototype was done in Foundation in GitHub as it enables users to mark things as releases and this proved a real learning experience for our two intrepid designers.

Before creating anything, some discussion was had on what a homepage of a website should be and what it should do.

It’s probably important to understand at this point a simple prototype has been produced, it has not been through a design phase and no user experience work has been carried out as yet.

Release one

A basic outline of where things may go on the site. This version was based on research on the five main user tasks that people carry out when they come to the site and takes into account some of web users’ habitual behaviours.

Release two

Content has been added to the prototype to put elements in better context when looking at the page. At the end of the sprint this version was presented to the product owner and some good feedback was given at this stage.

Release three

The layout has been honed a little after the feedback from release two and rearranged for a more traditional layout.

The design will be responsive and that is a great improvement on the current website. It will also be flexible in that it is a modular design so that elements of the page could be moved around according to priorities at particular times throughout the year.

Further iterations may look at further options/elements for the homepage such as navigation drop down menus.

You can see what's coming up at the next sessions on the Show & Tell wiki page. The next session will be on 12 September 2014.

Posted in: Show & Tell