Space shuttle Discovery in orbit

Reflecting on our journey of discovery

Last week, as we blogged, we undertook some intensive workshops with our technical developers One Ltd as part of their project ‘discovery’ phase. We were able to share our work and thinking so far on branding, content and what the portal might do. This will help One put together proposals for development throughout the Autumn and early Winter.

Beyond information sharing, though, we also took the time and space to tackle the thorny issues that need to be addressed. Sharpies, flipcharts, coffee and biscuits were all required to stimulate in depth consideration. The relative prioritisation of ‘perfection’ was weighed against ‘security’ and  ‘maintainability’ on the Fibonacci sequence. Educational websites from TED Ed to How Stuff Works were interrogated – how are we similar and how are we different? In response to this our brand vision was slightly elongated to better reflect our links to the University of Oxford. Potential user journeys snaked around the walls on flipcharts and personas were summoned into being. In order words – we were highly productive!

In Summertown (North Oxford) this week, One Ltd are converting our reams of ideas into proposals for us to consider. They described it as ‘going into a dark room’, but hopefully it will be full of bright ideas. In central Oxford we’re continuing to think on the issues raised – especially around content. What is it feasible to launch with? How much is enough? What is the balance between filling a site with content and making sure that content is the right stuff?


About Alex Pryce

I manage Communications and Engagement for the digital outreach portal project. I am based in the Widening Access and Participation team at the University of Oxford.

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