…and this is how it went!
I spend a lot of time on Social Media. I tweet, I facebook and I blog. And I think it was because of my blogging and tweeting about my life as a Girlguiding leader that Jenna from the Digital team contacted me to ask whether I would come along to one of the workshops YooMee were running on June 21st to give feedback on the Girlguiding website.
The workshop I attended was at Leith Academy in Edinburgh, which is a school not far from where I grew up. In fact, it was where we would get assessed for Guide badges when I was a teenager! Despite my familiarity with the location, I had underestimated how far it was on the bus from where I live now so I was a bit late arriving (sorry!) But I did have to laugh as a member of the YooMee team standing by the entrance to the school asked “Are you here for the Girlguiding workshop?”and told me he thought I must be because I had ‘the look of a Girlguiding leader’ (I was assured it was a compliment).
We were split into two groups, with a mix of Senior Section members and Adult Leaders. After doing a bit of an icebreaker where we found it was more difficult than we thought to have seven things our group members all had in common with each other, we got down to the nitty gritty.
What do we want the Girlguiding website to be like in the future?
Andy and Tim from YooMee had five posters on the wall each representing a different type of user/website visitor.
-The Unaware user who knows nothing about Girlguiding
– The Interested user who knows a little bit but not a lot about Girlguiding and is intrigued to find out more.
– The First Timer who has found out and is new to Girlguiding
– The Regular user who is involved and visiting the website every now and again on fairly regular basis
– The Passionate user – those who are passionate about Girlguiding, know a lot about it and using the website on a frequent basis.
We realised pretty quickly that all of our workshop attendees were passionate users. So we had to do a bit of work to put ourselves into the imaginary shoes of the other potential users of a new Girlguiding website.
We had green post-it notes and orange post-it notes which we used to write our ideas of what we thought was needed on the website. On the Green post-its we would put what we wanted to see. On the orange post-it notes were things that we would want the website designers to avoid. We then did this with each different ‘type’ of user in mind.
All sorts of things were suggested. To give just a few examples:
- An ‘About’ page giving history, current activities, facts and figures on Girlguiding (so there’s no excuse for journalists to put inaccurate information in their newspaper articles!)
- Contact directories for leaders to be able to network better
- Clear contact details to be able to speak to an actual person
- FAQ pages for both parents and people interested in volunteering,
- Information for employers about the skills that members acquire from Girlguiding,
- Maps of the regions and counties and more consistency between the linking of national to more localised Girlguiding websites,
- Leader ‘toolkits’ for starting up and running a unit or supporting volunteers
- Searchable ‘wiki’ feature to be able to find activities for the unit under specific themes
…and loads more (as you can see from our post-it covered posters).
I had asked on one of the Girlguiding facebook groups for their feedback ahead of time, knowing that some members would want to have their say but wouldn’t be able to attend one of the workshops. I made sure that all of the thoughts they voices were put on post-it notes too.
Andy and Tim then got us to group all of our post-its under headings which we created based on the similar themes running through our post-it note ideas, generating a great deal of discussion not only about what was needed but the recognition of their need to make sure they speak to parents and outsiders as well as they do their focus groups. They assured us this was all in hand and were already planning on doing this.
The added bonus to the whole day was not just getting to have our say, or that the folks from Yoomee were so lovely and really listened to us – it was getting to meet with members from all over the UK. People had come down from Dundee and Fife, one leader had got the train up from County Durham to be there and I heard rumours there was also another person who’d come in from Belfast? We had a chance over lunch to chat about our Guiding experiences, challenges we faced, share ideas and to realise how passionate we all were about volunteering with Girlguiding.
There is still a chance to have your say, and you can hold your own Girlguiding website workshops as Yoomee have given us all a ‘How-to’ guide over on the Digital Girlguiding blog. They just need your feedback by 12th July!
You can find out more about Girlguiding UK’s digital vision on the Digital Girlguiding website. (In fact, you’ll soon find this very post on their blog…!)
**UPDATE: this post can now be found on the Girlguiding Digital Team blog (they have referred to me as “Laurie Anne” which is a common mistake people make about my name. The name on my birth certificate is Laura Anne, but that’s a bit of a mouthful so most folks call me Laurie – just to clarify!)**