In the build up to the official launch of the new site, we took the test version out to several data workshops held across the country. The aim of these workshops was twofold; obviously we wanted to promote the new site and demonstrate the new functionality and features; secondly and more importantly, we wanted to gauge a reaction from potential users. We wanted to know what works well, what can be improved and what new things might you like to see in the future.
Attendees came from a range of sectors with a variety of different interests. However, there were many key themes and excitement as The Global Value Exchange appeared to offer a solution to many challenges for people who are trying to measure the sider value of their activities. This blog collates the key findings from the workshops.
General Usability. The feedback was unanimous in its approval of the site’s new appearance. Users liked the clean, minimalist approach combined with the colourful display of information. “It’s a far cry from the wiki-like appearance of the old site.” And “I love the feel of this new site – it doesn’t intimidate me like the previous versions did.”
Connection between entries: Many users commented on the way the new site had better links between Outcomes, Indicators, Stakeholders and Values. “The connections are easier to see and much more intuitive.”
Browsing the site: The new site has a range of different ways to search for information. The most popular method seems to be the free text search box which returns results from across the site. From this you are able to filter outcomes, indicators, values or stakeholders. Another popular aspect is the ability throughout the site to filter entries by outcome group.
Commenting & interacting with the Entries. This is the part of the site that we are particularly excited about and we were pleased to see that our users are too. Many liked the idea that rating information or stating whether it was useful is a really good way of validating information. “It brings a crowd sourcing element to social value information. This can only be a useful thing for commissioners or anyone coming at this topic fresh.”
Outcome Map: Almost all of the attendees agreed that the interactive diagram was a fantastic way of visualising the relationships between entries. “This is perfect for mapping out our outcomes!”
“I love the currency converter and inflation calculator – that is really clever!”.
Outcomes Matrix: This is a new feature that proved very popular with attendees. Many felt that their organisation would be happy to upload the outcomes that they use. “I agree that it adds an extra layer of transparency to our organisations reporting”. We hope that this can be a very useful tool for organisations to learn from each other.
Chain of Events: This feature did exist in the old version but it has been given a brand new lease of life on the new site with a clearer way to construct a chain of events and a super cool visualisation of the chains. “From a funders perspective I think this is fascinating because it reveals the proximity of outcomes in a really clear way. I like the fact that the connections have been crowd sourced and this fits in with our work on ‘theories of change’. I look forward to using this and seeing how it develops.”
Adding Data: Not many attendees entered information onto the site during the workshop however, those that explored that section of the site liked the step by step approach and felt that, with the guidance in place, they would be much more confidence adding their own entries.
Guidance and Support: The new site has lots of guidance which was something that many people had requested. The few people who had time to explore this were very impressed. As well as guidance documents there are some ‘how to’ videos and presentations that will help users to add their own entries. “I really appreciate the range of documents available and I love the presentations that show what is required for an entry to become ‘Approved’. This is really useful and will help maintain a certain level of quality for the site.”
“There is so much information that is useful and presented in a user friendly way.”
“I’m looking forward to spending more time exploring the site and I feel much more confident in its new layout.”
There will always be concerns over quality control.
As well as huge positivity and support for the new and improved site, there was also a lot of recommendations on how it could be improved. We know that there always will be and that’s why we are so keen to hear your suggestions. Below is a list we have collated and will be looking at for continuous improvement of the site.
- Export The visualisations so that they can be printed out and used as part of mapping exercises.
- Allow users to create a progress report with their ‘favourite’ entries or perhaps create ‘projects’ where they can associate different entries to.
- Outcome matrix could be used within & across organisations.
- Licensing content and data? E.g. what are the terms of that? Someone suggested looking into the creative commons & open data licences.