Stories of Discovery: A responsive journey


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Transforming a government website with 200 content authors, tens of thousands of pages, and close to 100 different content templates into a responsive design system is tricky business. In 2013, we led a project to update and future-proof one of Canada’s fastest-growing municipalities’ main communication channel:

The responsive redesign achieved unanimous support from city staff, business stakeholders, council, and the mayor. Mobile traffic has increased by 300% since launch. The improved governance and content workflow processes have facilitated new collaborations between silo’d City departments. The Surrey Web Team described this as one of the most positive changes in recent history for the City’s external and internal communication. Most importantly, it created a sense of cohesion through a wholehearted responsive design process.

This project required a new approach. We needed the ability to connect deeply with everyone on our project team: client, vendor, and audience. We needed to get comfortable with imperfection, and fight through difficult moments as a team. We let go of our usual need to protect ourselves and maintain control, and worked together to solve our responsive design and adaptive content problems. Our collaborative creativity was a catalyst for changing the way the City communicates.

What you’ll take away from this talk:
- Understand how a responsive design process impacts team dynamics and workflow
- Learn how to encourage collaboration across departments and conquer organizational silos
- Hear how a responsive discovery can change a project (and why that’s okay)
- Get cozy with your customers, stakeholders, and content authors – we’re all allies in the fight to make the web a better place

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Stories of Discovery: A responsive journey

  3. show map of lower mainland
  4. The heroprocess they wanted
  5. The process they needed
  6. think about your message
  7. the team
  8. awwww
  9. Silos are for farming, not web design
  10. work together... weird, eh*? * Canadian content
  11. be careful to watch your back :)
  12. create an environment for unplanned moments of discovery
  13. audit all the things!
  14. ux vision & design principles
  15. collaborative sketching
  16. Call to action!
  17. Lost call to action...
  18. Call to action!
  19. Call to action!
  20. phone calls!!
  21. mental models
  23. empathy & experience mapping
  25. audience profiles
  26. Project Analysis
  27. be willing to adapt yourself
  28. real discovery happens between the planned activities
  29. in-browser wireframes
  32. in-browser designs
  34. celebrate successes together
  35. don’t stop discovering
  36. lunch & learns
  37. WEB TEAMALL TEAM WORKING WITH THE CITY OF SURREY WEB TEAM BUSINESS UNIT DOCUMENT FUNCTIONAL REQUIREMENTS DOCUMENT CONTENT REQUIREMENTS KICK-OFF MEETING APPROVE CONTENT REQUIREMENTS GATHER CONTENT REQUIREMENTS CONTENT REQUEST BU MANAGER BU + WEB TEAM: Meet to discuss project requirements and timeline. Marketing should be present for campaigns IT should be present for applications 2 MONTHS BEFORE LAUNCH WT SPECIALIST: Document all functional and technology requirements Sign-off by BU and WT required WT EDITOR: Document all content and editorial requirements Sign-off by BU and WT required BU EDITOR: Gather initial content and functional requirements. Fill out “Starting a web project” questionnaire (forthcoming) BU MANAGER
  38. CREATE FUNCTIONAL REQUIREMENTS EDIT CONTENT PUBLISH FINAL APPROVAL REVIEW/EDIT/ARCHIVE CONTENT [EVERY 12 MONTHS] REVIEW ANALYTICS [EVERY 6 MONTHS] SUBMIT TO WORKFLOW CONTENT ENTRY AND MIGRATION CONTENT APPROVAL BU EDITOR: Migrate all new content into OpenText CMS 1 WEEK BEFORE LAUNCH BU EDITOR: Migrate all new content into OpenText CMS BU MANAGER: Approve all editorial content 1 MONTH BEFORE LAUNCH WEB TEAM: Compile analytics data from past 6 months BU + WEB TEAM: Meet with BU to review and recommend next steps – edit or archive content WEB TEAM: Compile analytics data from past 6 months BU + WEB TEAM: Meet to review and recommend changes WT EDITOR OR WT SPECIALIST WT EDITOR + WT SPECIALIST WT EDITOR: Edit editorial content for adherance to web writing guide and semantic content (if neccessary) in parallel: WT SPECIALIST: Build all necessary functional and technical requirements
  39. collaboration is the key ! there is only one team
  40. Thanks! ! @hellofisher