A quick one – today at work we’re launching ‘Unleashing Aspiration': the Government’s response to the review of access to the professions, which was led by Rt Hon Alan Milburn MP and reported last year.
The digital brief was, on the face of it, not massively exciting – it’s a long document, covering 88 recommendations, with a small but informed audience of policy, media and stakeholder visitors – many of whom will go through the whole document in detail almost however we publish it.
But this kind of document does set an interesting challenge for online presentation – it’s really as close as policy documents get to a faceted classification in information design terms, with responses to each recommendation organised by theme, by audience affected, and by the Departments who are leading on each – and with lots of embedded links to other initiatives. The policy team, though tight on resource, are interested in following the comment and discussion around each of the recommendations.
So it’s also a natural fit for WordPress, where the Themes are defined as WordPress categories, and we use WordPress tags to indicate audience and lead department. Commenting is built-in, as is the facility for tag and category descriptions, which provide a space for useful ‘virtual chapter’ overviews. By offering the ability to cut the document up in so many ways, it provides a variety of accessible entry points for different audiences, which is promising raw material for digital engagement outreach, for example to student communities or the third sector.
It’s not going to win any design awards – it’s intentionally quite neutral and clean with just some simple colour-coding – but I think it’s an unusual and potentially helpful approach to enable readers to get into a document of this kind through different routes. It’s also been a good training exercise for the team – props to Alistair Reid for getting his head around the anatomy of WordPress in barely a week, and doing rather more cut-and-paste than is strictly healthy.