[This post has also been published on the Web Managers Group Blog]
Last week LocalGov Digital launched its Digital Content Standard, a carefully crafted first draft – or beta version – and a free resource for local government web and content managers. It supports the group’s overarching principle of encouraging the sector to be open by default and digital by design.
This standard is intended to evolve and adapt to continually meet the needs of the sector as well as raising the aspirations around digital content and services generally.
The standard was a collaborative effort led by LocalGov Digital Steering Group members and has been compiled using a selection of existing guides from the UK and from across the world.
The document has been created in such a way that we hope it can simply be adopted by local councils without too much trouble. In Devon we have adopted them although we recognise that we are likely to need a supplement to allow the local variations and subtle style differences which we have established here.
From a personal point of view the whole document is hugely valuable but you can make sizeable gains from simply getting your existing content authors to consider the following golden rule.
Is the information you’re presenting to the public necessary, readable, original, easy to find and well-presented?
In a checklist:
- Is the content answering a question that our customers are asking?
- Is your content easy-to-read and understandable to a layperson?
- Is the content original?
- Can the content be found using search words that make sense to the customer?
- Are graphics and pictures appropriate and do they add something to the page?
I’m sure that there will be many ways we could improve the standards and we would encourage people to comment, contribute and be part of the wider LocalGov Digital network to help raise standards in web and digital across the public sector.