Digital Day: Making a new homepage with and for volunteers

From next Tuesday, 15 May, Scouts.org.uk will have a new homepage. We felt that Scouting needed a new homepage now, for a number of reasons.

  • The previous homepage was not meeting needs of members or potential members (see below for further details on this)
  • The new homepage allows us to get a better understanding of how people use it, and to test ideas in order to make improvements – you will see changes straight away.   We will even take a few risks to try new things.
  • On our new homepage, we will start putting our research into use (further details on this below).
  • We want to celebrate the new brand with a fresh, updated homepage that better reflects where Scouting is now.
  • New digital products are a critical part of the strategy, so we need to get started straight away
  • Most importantly, we want to start working on how we work together, immediately. This homepage has important input from members who participated in our Digital Day workshop on designing the homepage.

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Digital Day: Understanding volunteering through research

In order for us all to build the right digital products, we must first make sure we understand current Scout volunteering by conducting research.  This post is about how we are using research to build based on your needs, how members were involved in what we have done so far, and how you can be involved yourself in the future.  I first presented this at Digital Day, so if you are interested in what happened, or if you want to see and share what you saw that day, you will find that here.
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Digital Day – Saturday 14 April

In my first blog post I mentioned that we had begun planning a Digital Day, and I now can share more information, including how you can attend.

Purpose of the day

We want to share with you our digital plans for the next few years, and get your feedback. We will share our digital strategy and roadmap, what we’ve been doing and our priorities, as well as getting you involved in what we do and how we work.

The day will be a mixture of presentations and workshops, intended to get you involved and contributing to our plans!

When and where

The Digital Day is being held on Saturday 14 April, from 9.30 until 5.00 at 65 Queen’s Gate (Baden-Powell House), London, SW7 5JS.

What you can expect on the day

In the morning, we will have a number of presentations from the Digital Team and a guest speaker. Presentations are yet to be finalised but are likely to include:

  • our digital plan for Scouting – the strategy and roadmap for delivery
  • guest speaker (details to be confirmed)
  • understanding our volunteers in Scouting – sharing our research
  • how we can apply technology in Scouting

There will be opportunities for questions and answers before lunch, when you will have an opportunity to meet the team and other attendees, as well as contribute to the work that we are doing.

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An introduction to Enterprise Architecture

In this blog post, I am going to explain, as best as I can, what Enterprise Architecture is, what it means for the Movement and why I am one of the first team members. I’ll start by explaining my role.

Rather than being the kind of architect who deals with the materials and design of a building, I deal with the building blocks of an organisation or ‘enterprise’. These building blocks are:

  • people (who make thing happen)
  • information (the material they work on)
  • process (the way things get done)
  • technology (the tools to get things done)

My role is to fix behind-the-scenes information, process and technology problems to help make working and volunteering at Scouting easier. My goal is to simplify the delivery of Scouting.

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An introduction to User Experience

User Experience (UX), which is new at Scouts, is about making the digital products you use as useful and usable as possible. The UX team, right now just me, is responsible for designing the right products well, and then continuously improving them. To do this, I work closely with you, our members, as well as other members of the team here at Headquarters.

There are three main parts to UX:

Research Design Analytics
This is how we determine what would be helpful and valuable to you. This is where we take the research and make it into a product, like a website or an app. This is where we evaluate how well the products are working for you and make improvements.
Hand drawn image representing research Hand drawn image representing products Hand drawn image representing analytics

These are a repeated cycle of continuous improvements (you might hear it called iterations). We don’t just make it once and let it go. We want to make sure it’s the best it can be, and that it changes with the times as needed.

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Meeting the OSM team

Last Monday, the team behind OSM visited Gilwell. We were keen to meet to better understand OSM and how it works, as well as to find out about the OSM team’s plans for the future. We also wanted to share where we are on the Scouts digital journey and the timeframe for the development of our digital plan.

Ed Jellard, OSM’s creator, started the day with a full demo of the key features on offer to section leaders and took us through the functionality available to some of OSM’s other customers. It was really interesting for the team here to understand the current capabilities of the system, as well as the way other organisations are using different features. Ed talked through the work they have undertaken with the New Zealand Girl Guides national office, which now uses their equivalent of OSM for their membership data and as a tool for their volunteer leaders. While we all appreciated that we are a very different organisation, it was great to see the flexibility of the system and the different ways it could be used to support the delivery of Scouting.

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Digital at The Scout Association

Hi, and welcome to The Scout Association’s Digital Blog. We, the Digital Team, created this blog to keep you informed and involved in all the digital things that are happening across Scouting. We hope that you find the content on here useful, interesting, and, even, fun. To kick off the blog, I’ll fill you in on what’s been happening over the last few months – this first post *is* a little long, but in future, we’ll keep them shorter. Please do sign up to follow our posts.

Back in June, I joined The Scout Association from Transport for London with an outsider’s understanding of the Movement (and its many complexities). My first few months have been busy. To better understand how Scouting works now, I’ve been meeting and listening to people. What I’ve found are truly passionate people who love Scouting, have deep knowledge and understanding of how to conduct Scouting, and are proud of the benefits that it brings to young people.

At the same time, I have been gathering information on our systems and technology. I have been surprised by the complex set of practices and processes for how we operate, and an even more complex technology estate that underpins this.

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