What does City Hall’s Digital Team do?
Digital Content Manager, Hannah Green, explains what the Digital Team at City Hall is responsible for, what they've achieved so far, and what's next.
At the end of November 2015 the Digital Team, alongside colleagues in our IT department, launched the new London.gov.uk website. We worked with designers, developers and user researchers to make the site more user-friendly, as well as with different teams across City Hall to make the content clearer, more accessible and up-to-date. But the work hasn’t stopped there.
Over the last few months our focus has changed to constantly improving:
- the content we publish, to better communicate the work of City Hall to Londoners
- the way London.gov.uk works for visitors and editors
- the digital training we offer to the wider organisation
The content team
Each member of the content team has several areas of the organisation they’re responsible for. Our role is to:
- help teams understand their audience – via analytics and user research – so they can communicate their work in the most effective, interesting and accessible way
- work closely with teams on their new campaigns, strategies and projects from a digital perspective, to make sure they have maximum impact
- explain and recommend new ways to present information on London.gov.uk, to make sure what we’re saying is engaging and easy to understand
- give fresh eyes to existing structures and content, to avoid confusing readers with out-of-date or poorly written pages
We run monthly editorial meetings, inviting colleagues from every area of City Hall. Here we bring together skills in social media, copywriting, marketing, content strategy, user experience and subject matter. This ensures we’re as joined up as possible in the way we’re communicating with Londoners.
Improving the way the website works
We launched in November 2015 with our ‘minimum viable product’ – a website that met our minimum criteria for launch. Since then, we’ve been through several months of new development work to add and improve functionality, for example:
- adding Member pages, to better highlight the work of Assembly Members
- creating a filterable list of teaching resources for the London Schools Excellence Fund, to make it easier for teachers to find what they need
- improving the functionality available to editors – making it easier for them to create engaging content
- integrating and improving our planning applications search system
- building the ability to run surveys
This work is ongoing – there are lots of improvements scheduled to come, for example:
- improving how search performs
- allowing editors to bulk upload files and images
- integrating a new image library
We run monthly ‘show and tell’ sessions to keep our colleagues up-to-date with progress. These are highly interactive sessions, where we demonstrate our progress, ask for input and answer questions.
We recently launched a new digital training programme to help train colleagues on how best to communicate via the website. Our training includes:
- practical sessions on how to edit and update the website
- a masterclass on how to create the most interesting, relevant content
- an analytics masterclass on how to analyse and interpret audience activity on our websites
So, the Digital Team works closely with every area of the organisation to improve how we explain and promote the work of City Hall to Londoners.
Our audience is constantly evolving, and using digital channels more and more to communicate, share and get involved with things. The focus of our work is to connect with them.