It's 5 years, almost to the day, since the Defra digital blog was launched. So it’s a good time to look back at our achievements – and look forward to our future plans.
Climate change and sustainability are increasingly becoming part of our everyday conversation. However, what doesn’t get discussed much, is our use of technology and the impacts that they have on the world around us. So what can we do as individuals to help make a difference?
You’ve probably heard the scare stories about automation cutting swathes through traditional employment. Artificial intelligence (AI) can now even write news reports – so could content designers who create clear, easy to use information on GOV.UK also find themselves redundant?
Chris Howes (Defra group Chief Digital and Information Officer) reflects on the Sustainable Technology Annual Report (published 9 October 2019).
The Environment Agency and Natural Resources Wales are responsible for providing flood warning information to people at risk of flooding in England and Wales. One of the main ways we do this is by sending free automated voice calls. We’ve recently improved this part of the service by switching to Amazon Polly.
Content written in the active voice helps users understand what they have to do to complete tasks. It reduces confusion by making it clear who is responsible for every action.
Over the past year the Environment Agency’s Flood Information Service has been working with Google and their Google Public Alerts system, to create an enhanced flood information platform. We can now proudly say that we are the first UK authority to push flood warnings through Google’s online notification platform.
We had some super pitches to us as ‘Digital Dragons’ in the ‘Pitch to Prototype’ session (at the Flood and Coast 2019 event). So what next?
Cathy Dutton (Interim Head of Interaction Design) reflects on setting up a User Centred Design Community of Practice (COP) for a small team at Defra’s Warrington digital hub.
I’m looking forward to being with dragons - no sadly nothing to do with Game of Thrones - but instead, taking part in the Flood and Coast 2019 ‘Digital Dragons' competition. Something of an honour and a privilege I have to say.