Let’s green our web : part 2

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Last week I read a Twitter thread from Gerry McGovern. He’s a bit of a guru in designing digital experiences and is also passionate about the impact that ‘digital’ is having on the environment.


‘Organisation with 100 million visits a year finds that 5% of its content is getting over 80% of visits. Over 100,000 pages have not been reviewed in 10 years.
We produce content. We do not manage it. 90% of content is crap. It was like this 25 years ago. It’s still the same.’

The tweet from Gerry McGovern says that content on websites is not actively managed and in many cases not reviewed for years

It made me think about the Scottish Enterprise website and whether we saw the same statistics. So, I asked our product owner David what our customers were looking at.

Continue reading “Let’s green our web : part 2”

User experience begins long before someone reaches your website

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COVID-19. Collective sigh. If you’re not jaded by it all yet then your reserves of positivity surely know no bounds.

The winds of change that have blown across our world as a result of this surreal event are quite incredible. And many things will never be the same again.

Small town centres, previously peppered with empty shops, are bustling. Employers are embracing remote working like never before. Deserted city centre scenes, previously only featured in apocalyptic movies, have graced the evening news.

But some things haven’t changed.

Many organisations continue to create policy, advice, products and services in complete ignorance of how user behaviour in the modern age will define their effectiveness.

There’s been no more perfect example of this than the four corners of the UK all having different and, in many cases, contradictory rules and advice for citizens to follow during this pandemic.

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Skills Development Scotland (SDS) sharing session – Design systems

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Earlier on in the year, myself, and Derek Hawthorne from SDS connected on LinkedIn about a mutual interest in an article about making the web a greener place. Through further conversation we discovered that we are both working on Design Systems.  

SDS are at the very early stage of creating a Design system while we are further on in our journey.  Derek reached out to see if we could share what we are doing, so we set up a sharing session. 

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How providing tech support helped me understand our customers better

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'Funding for green jobs' page on the Scottish Enterprise website

As part of the recent Green Jobs funding call, the project team asked if the service design team could help with level two system support. This meant helping with technical issues that customers were having if the enquiry team couldn’t resolve them. 

I didn’t want to do it at first. I’m not really that technical, and I was afraid that I wouldn’t know how to help. Even though our service adoption team gave us training and a knowledge bank that we could use, I still didn’t feel confident on my first shift. 

To my surprise, it was actually an interesting – and eye-opening – experience. Here’s what I learned: 

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About Katie Dickerson

I'm a service designer with a background in content design and a passion for taking hard things and making them simple.

How many people does it take to design and build a service?

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Scottish Enterprise is changing. We are delivering services to customers and stakeholders in new ways, this gives us a fabulous opportunity but also presents some challenges.

As the team leader for the user centered design team at Scottish Enterprise I hear comments such as ‘What do you mean when you say service’, ‘We don’t really know what you do or who you are’ and also ‘But don’t you just build websites? Why do you care about all this other stuff that’s not digital?’

It prompted me to think what was causing this perception and how I felt four years ago when I joined the digital team at Scottish Enterprise. I was struck by how many people are involved and therefore how confusing it can be.

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How we improved the exporting user journey on the Scottish Enterprise website

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We recently redesigned the exports and international markets section of the Scottish Enterprise website. 

Our goals

  • Raise awareness of our exporting expertise and support – in order to help more businesses, we needed them to be aware of what support they can access through us
  • Create content that is relevant and useful to exporters and potential exporters – we wanted to ensure that content on our website was meeting user needs
  • Get more enquiries for exporting services and events – we wanted to get more people asking us about the services and events that we offer
  • Help users self-serve – we wanted to help people self-serve where possible, or signpost them to other help and support, at the right point in the customer journey
  • Get more users taking advantage of market opportunities – we wanted to help businesses understand what opportunities exist in overseas markets and how they can access them
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About Katie Dickerson

I'm a service designer with a background in content design and a passion for taking hard things and making them simple.

From service designer to user researcher

Reading Time: 3 minutes

I started my career at Scottish Enterprise as a content designer. Actually, we were called ‘web content developers’ back then, before we really embraced the idea that there is more to content than just words on a web page. Then I joined the service design team as a service designer, and over the past few months, I’ve been doing a dual role as a service designer and user researcher.  

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About Katie Dickerson

I'm a service designer with a background in content design and a passion for taking hard things and making them simple.

How we made it easier for businesses to find coronavirus funding

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The problem

The FindBusinessSupport.gov.scot (FBS) website had to adapt quickly when the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic hit to ensure that businesses could access up-to-date information about what they needed to do and what support they could get.

Because new funds were constantly being offered, and guidance kept changing as we moved in and out of lockdown, we just added new content when changes were announced by the Scottish Government. We never had time to step back and think about the complete customer journey, and the coronavirus advice page had become very long and complex.

The challenge

The Scottish Government asked us to make it easier for businesses to access information about coronavirus funding and support on the FBS website, and they gave us two weeks to do it.

screenshots of heat maps for the desktop and mobile version of the coronavirus advice page
Heat maps are one of the tools we use to research how people use our website
Continue reading “How we made it easier for businesses to find coronavirus funding”

About Katie Dickerson

I'm a service designer with a background in content design and a passion for taking hard things and making them simple.

How to be a designer, teacher and parent at the same time

Reading Time: 3 minutes
A woman wearing a black dress with a white collar and burgundy tights sitting on a green and blue tartan carpet. She is leaning against a wall and has a laptop on her lap. She is also wearing a headset.
Me working in the hallway while my husband works in the office and my kids run around the living room

The title of this post is misleading. It implies that I’m going to provide you with tips on doing all these things well simultaneously. I’m not. It isn’t possible. What I am going to do is share how I have been balancing my job as a service designer with homeschooling my 5-year-old and chasing after my 2-year-old during this most recent lockdown.

Like many parents, I’ve been faced with an almost impossible task – do your job while also giving your children an education. If your working day is seven hours, and a school day is six hours, and a parenting day is around 12 hours, that’s 25 hours of work to fit within 24 hours. And that doesn’t include eating, sleeping, cooking, housework and this ‘self-care’ stuff that everyone is so big on these days.

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About Katie Dickerson

I'm a service designer with a background in content design and a passion for taking hard things and making them simple.

A user manual for Lindsay

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This post is about me and my preferences in my working life. 

This is the first blog I have ever written, so it’s kind of scary. 

It’s been three and a half years since I moved career into ‘digital’. It’s kind of odd looking back at a career that spans research and development, process development, business development and now service design. Some things about who I am, and what I enjoy, hold true whatever organisation or with whichever team I have worked with.  

How I got to here is outlined in my tube map:

Tube map showing Lindsay's journey to working in digital
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Why you shouldn’t make assumptions about content

Reading Time: 3 minutes

We recently launched the new GlobalScot website, and I was scrolling through it when I noticed something odd. On some of the case studies and articles, the formatting was off. There were no spaces between paragraphs or styling on the sub-headers.

Article called 'New platform to support women-led start-ups' with no spaces in between the paragraphs

I had a chat with my content design colleague and one of our developers. Initially we thought there was a technical issue that was causing the content to display incorrectly, but then we found a few case studies without spacing issues. That’s when we realised it wasn’t a technical issue – it was a training one.

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About Katie Dickerson

I'm a service designer with a background in content design and a passion for taking hard things and making them simple.

How we used the Good Services Scale to evaluate the GlobalScot service

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The Good Services Scale is a tool that was developed by Lou Downe, the director of design and transformation for land and housing at the UK government. It allows you to assess the quality of your service using the 15 principles of good service design.

The Good Services Scale in Excel format, with a 0-4 scale across the top in red, orange, yellow, blue and green
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About Katie Dickerson

I'm a service designer with a background in content design and a passion for taking hard things and making them simple.

Global Accessibility Awareness Day

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Thursday, May 21 2020, marks the ninth Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD). The purpose of GAAD is to get everyone talking, thinking and learning about digital access/inclusion and people with different disabilities.

The Digital team celebrated the day with a session opened to all the Scottish Enterprise staff.

bright yellow background and text stating: Global Accessibility Awareness Day - Thursday 21 May 2020 Scottish Enterprise
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About Stephanie Krus

I'm a service designer and started at Scottish Enterprise in May 2019.

Making our social media communications accessible

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To reach our audience, we need to do better to make sure everyone can access our posts on social media. We are planning to raise awareness within Scottish Enterprise of what needs to be done so that our communications are accessible.

phone screen with lots of icons, some from social media with notifications
Photo by Rami Al-zayat on Unsplash
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About Stephanie Krus

I'm a service designer and started at Scottish Enterprise in May 2019.

A story is the promise of a conversation

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Illustration of how much we know about a user story over time.

In agile development the whole point of a story is … well, it’s a story.

It illustrates an instance. It illuminates an essence.

It tells a story.

There is a user. An actual person, who needs to get stuff done. A hero.

They probably need to get other stuff done too. This, whatever that is, is just one thing on their neverending to-do list.

Their reasons could be very simple or very complex.

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About David O'Brien

I'm a service designer in Scottish Enterprise's unsurprisingly-named service design team. I've been involved in the web for over 20 years, one way or another.