Out of date notifications
We recently enabled notifications to let our users know if their data is out of date. This means users get an email reminder when they need to manually update their data, or check if there is a problem with their automated updates. Our dashboards have many different users so it is really important that the data is up to date. This means everyone has access to the latest information and helps avoid any confusion.
We have had some feedback on the current format that it is repetitive and the styling doesn’t make it more readable as we had hoped. We are working on an iteration now to improve this and in the future we will look at HTML options.
This is only the start of what we have imagined for notifications. In the future we will look at how we can provide alerts when interesting things happen or when indicators go above or below certain thresholds. We want to conserve our users attention, by pushing the data to them that they most need to act upon. With this in mind I thought it might be useful to blog about what else we have planned and outline some of our priorities for the rest of the year.
A big screen display view
A lot of users we have spoken to have expressed an interest in being able to share the stats that are on the Performance Platform with team in the office, or in other parts of government buildings. To help with this we are working on a big screen display view.
Alongside our work on the big screen view, we have been thinking about how the data on the Performance Platform is consumed by users. A big screen view is a different way of viewing the data but it still requires the user to visit www.gov.uk/performance. So we started to user test the idea of summary emails.
Before building anything we wrote a couple ourselves and sent them out pretending they were automated. The feedback was positive and in a few instances our test emails were immediately forwarded on to more people. We are now working on adding summary emails to the Performance Platform so service managers and their teams can get data sent to them rather than having to visit us. As with the notifications about the out of date data, we see this as a first step of what could be useful to send out via email or through other alerting channels like SMS or Twitter.
Self service dashboards
Alongside these new features we are continuing to work on a self service tool to allow our users to build their own dashboards. This is the most important feature of the Performance Platform and part of our progression before becoming a live service and a true platform.
We already have an app which people in the team are using to build dashboards. Now we are seeing how we can learn from this to create something useful for colleagues around government to create their own dashboards. Once available it will allow us to focus on the core product, developing features for our users and exploring different areas where the Performance Platform might be able to help, such as policy.
We will blog regularly about our priorities and also what we find out as we deliver iterations of each product.