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Moving home

I've just published the first live iteration of www.datatoinsight.org which we hope will serve as our home for the foreseeable future. I took a lot of feedback from colleagues in different LAs about what did and didn't work for them at our previous home, and have tried to make this site work differently. The key design decisions worth noting are probably these:


  1. Fewer notifications. You can change your notifications settings in your personal account pages, but I've tried to design so that you don't get too many by default. You won't get automatic notifications every time anyone changes anything on the site, which means that, when it comes time to make changes, we can move things around until we're happy and then send out a single update to let you know.

  2. Better discussion spaces. The Community pages on this site allow you to choose between starting a "discussion" thread or a "question" thread. Choosing the latter enables voting on answers, and the selection of a "best answer" for posterity. This should allow us to build up a knowledge base over time of common issues and solutions. I've also altered the discussion categories, including things like a dedicated design/development area, and a board just for job adverts and similar opportunities. And, for good measure, I've shared our internal Trello board for development/maintenance project management, so you can see what's going on and feed back with your thoughts. I'm looking to integrate this more smoothly in future -- if you have ideas about that, let me know.

  3. Obvious download buttons. Go to the Tools pages and you'll see our current toolkit listed, with links to download the current, previous, and beta versions of each tool (where available). For colleagues who just want to log in and download the latest ChAT, this should be much easier, and you'll always know you're getting the latest version. For colleagues who want to delve deeper, you now get a look at the beta versions currently in development, too.

  4. Credit where credit's due. The Hall of Fame isn't actually finished, but will eventually be a wall of names honouring the people who've gone above and beyond in supporting our work. The best thing about Data to Insight is the community of analysts who are doing and sharing great work through this network, and we want to make sure that's obvious to everyone involved. We're not a software supplier in the traditional sense -- we're here to help LA colleagues get work done and share it with each other.

I'm eager for feedback on the new site because I want it to work as well as possible for everyone involved. I'm looking at setting up accounts automatically for our existing mailing list. In the meantime, feel free to sign up (you'll have to wait for me to approve your request before you can log in), look around, and let me know what you think.


Alistair

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