It's a treacherous place out there on the internet.
One misstep and you could be the unwitting victim of a phishing scam.
One erroneous ecommerce visit could lead to an accidental purchase of goods or services you didn't want because the 'buy it now' button is far too ambiguous for our tiny brains to handle.
One innocent search for 'who is Kim Kardashian' can lead you directly to the Mail Online.
Again. It's a treacherous place out there.
If only there was a safe harbour. An area cordoned off from the scammers, the tricksters and the muck-rakers. A place you can be guaranteed nothing but high quality entertainment and useful information provided by the most ethically minded curators.
Well until that place is found, you'll just have to make do with this…
Let’s face it, in 2013 Gov.uk has featured in the forefront of many people’s minds as a flag bearer for great design and digital change. Continuing this trend, Thursday last week saw Gov.uk release the next section of its alpha style guide.
If you don’t have a style guide, or you have a fusty old copy in a shared folder no longer in use, or even worse, just a printed copy in a folder, well now is the time to update it and watch standards soar.
This style guide (part of GDS's seven wider design principles) is still being optimised but now includes sections on ‘writing for Gov.uk’, ‘writing for the web’, ‘style points for various content types’ and a ‘transactions style guide’.
It's interesting that Gov.uk realises the style of the guide itself is important. Continuous work on improving navigation and keeping content up to date is as important for the style guide as for the wider site.
If information and guidance isn’t up to date, or the guide is not easily engaged with, errors carried forward will persist.
Let’s take a look at the new style guide and see why it stands out, as well as what you can appropriate for your own organisation’s style guide. I hope you'll agree with me, that when a style guide is done well, it's actually a lot of fun to use, with more prescriptive advice on grammar reading as dead pan as a Stewart Lee gag.
Are marketing and digital having a greater influence on coroprate strategy and its execution?
There can be little doubt that digital leaders within organisations are increasingly finding themselves charged with driving organisational transformation, growth and the development of capability, and are spending more time than ever working with the main boards of their businesses.
So what are the main barriers to securing the backing of senior staff for digital investment and initiatives, and what are the best practices for ensuring not only one-off approval but ongoing support from the C-Suite?
The results of Econsultancy's new research into Securing Board Buy-in reveal both some key challenges but also some smart strategies for success.
Digital communication is developing well among specialist teams within the UK government, however there is still work to do before it has been successfully integrated into mainstream departments and services.
This is the headline finding from the Cabinet Office Digital Communications Capability Review which was published on Friday.
The purpose of the review was to assess how the digital aspects of government communication and engagement are planned and executed, and how they can be improved.
As a consequence of the lack of mainstream adoption of digital, the government is being “outpaced by the best of the commercial and NGO worlds.”
The authors identified five main areas for improvement which serve as a framework for developing recommendations. They will likely be familiar to companies currently undergoing a programme of digital transformation:
Econsultancy recently surveyed 700 of its users and included questions focusing on current business challenges and digital transformation.
Only 11% failed to regard digital transformation as a challenge, with 33% describing it as a huge challenge. Respondents identified with a number of specific challenges from managing talent, to board room buy-in, to cross-function alignment.
So what's to be done? Ashley Friedlein, Econsultancy CEO, has authored a presentation intended to cut through the business speak and define digital transformation and how to get there.
You can find the presentation on our digital transformation page, but here's the digested read...
Just what exactly, in plain English, is digital transformation? Which companies have already undergone it, and which need to? Have some already missed the boat?
Google ‘digital transformation’ and you’ll see companies providing services for the burgeoning market needing to quickly start thinking digital.
Some of this content is great, and some is still not quite transparent. Whilst white papers detailing change and success in specific sectors are welcome, videos of consultants talking in generalities and marketing speak are less so.
The problem is, of course, that much of any organisation’s digital strategy is unique, and it’s difficult to define what excellence is, or how it can be reached, without first knowing who one is writing for.
This creates one of the challenges for organisations seeking to understand digital; starting the journey is often the hardest step. It’s difficult to know what needs to be looked at first, especially if you have the erroneous and sinking feeling that ‘everything’ needs to be changed.
You might also be trying to articulate to the board why change is needed, and to do this you need to be able to make clear points.
Over the next few months I’m going to look at how ‘digitally mature’ various sectors and organisations are and what the process entails, not least because Econsultancy is actively helping companies in this area (contact our digital transformation consultants if you need help).
The British government has just rolled out a new version of its website which it claims is “simpler, faster and clearer” than the previous version.
It was created using a set of 10 design principles that aim to make websites more consistent and user-friendly.
It’s a good initiative as government websites aren’t known for being easy to use, but has it actually resulted in a decent user experience?
Now it just so happens that I’ve lost my driving licence, so I thought it would be useful to kill two birds with one stone and test the site by finding out how to order a new one.