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I visited the Scottish Government offices at Leith last week to meet with the Head of User Experience and get a look at how their project is progressing.

This was a return favour as Greg (who heads up their user experience, design and research activities) had visited the University Website Programme a couple of months ago.

It was great to meet his team, and the associated teams that are working together to deliver a new government web presence that is structured with users in mind, rather than organisational structure, and I had time to chat with specialists in user experience, content development and service design as well as take a look at their research and testing set up.

While there are obviously more people working on this project, and resources that reflect the scale of the project, it was reassuring to see that we are fundamentally taking the same kind of approach in many areas. The research I’ve been leading to better understand how CMS users interact with EdWeb and how staff and students use the new website follows the same approach as Greg has adopted. This is unsurprising really, as fitting engagement with end users into rapid, iterative development naturally leads us down similar paths.

Usability research in agile projects – read my previous blog post

What we’ve learned in 6 months of usability testing – read my previous blog post

What also came up is the similarity in challenges that we face: keeping focus on end user experience when there are so many pressing priorities, and facilitating culture change when there are a great number of business units operating semi-autonomously.

So all in all, a really interesting and useful couple of hours, and I will be keeping a close eye on how the initiative progresses. I’ll also be catching up with a few of Greg’s team to chat in more detail at the upcoming UX Scotland conference. website

‘Inside My Gov Scot’ – the project blog

A large range of portable devices used to test the web presence

The device testing suite is used primarily for design testing.

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