“Testing the resource, asking you to make it better”
We asked seven Highland Schools both secondary and special schools who serve rural, semi-rural and city areas to assist us in reviewing the Hi-Hope Directory before it went live.
In total 42 young people of varying abilities in years S3 through to S6 took part in hour long sessions in each school. During each session young people were able to test the Directory’s function, examine the content, answer questions posed in a questionnaire and have a discussion about how the directory might be improved and how they saw the Directory being used. Teachers were invited to come along to each session, 6 teachers participated.
We held a drop in session in Merkinch for parents, partner services and others to test the directory and give us their views. In total 15 parents and partners took advantage of this opportunity.
The decision was taken to make the directory live over the summer months to enable others to access the site and give feedback. This was extended to some partner services and professionals outwith Highland.
In the main the findings were that the Hi-Hope Interactive Directory was accessible, the design was appealing, the general layout was easy to follow, and the structure and functionality was good.
Following the consultations the majority of those testing the site had previously researched information by using the Internet, asking their Guidance Teacher, friends and family or by asking other parents or services. The general consensus was the directory would be a ‘one stop shop’, afford information about opportunities and encourage discussion.
The search engine however needed to be refined as it did not always throw up the information requested or anticipated. The search engine functionality was subsequently reviewed and a more robust structure applied. A function to be able to search alphabetically has been added. Entries were edited and new criteria for signposting were applied. Some tweaking of the back end functionality was needed to ensure the Directory worked appropriately in all situations especially the idiosyncratic nature of the Disclaimer which popped up and down at will on occasions and is an on-going issue.
The Home page was re-written to add information about how to use the directory. The About page has also been reviewed. The Directory category icons were redesigned to afford a more colourful directory guide and were added to the Home page.
The Learning Choices section general layout was reviewed and tweaked to make it more user friendly.
New information for inclusion in the directory was researched and added. This will be an on-going feature of the Interactive Directory. An Administrator working 2hours per week on the Directory will have the ability to edit Information, add new information and remove information no longer current.