Itâ€™s been almostÂ three years since we introduced the current homepage as part of our website redesign: it was the first part to go live. Even though it has been well-received by our users and the industry, the web has evolved significantly in the last few years – and, with it, peoples’Â expectations.
The web team hasÂ also come a long way, embracing an Agile approach and significantly improving our working processes to support this.Â It definitely feels like time for a refresh and what better way to kick start the process than a design hack day (or two).
Collaboration is central to the Agile approach so it seemed natural to include peopleÂ from across the organisation to discuss a refresh of our homepage. We started the process earlier this month, withÂ the web team invitingÂ our colleaguesÂ to participate in our homepage hack day/s.
So what is a hack day?
The term, like much of Agile, has its roots in software development. A hack day is a way for programmers, designers and managers to rapidly brainstorm and prototype ideas for new projects.
For the web team, the hack day seemed the ideal opportunity to bring people together and to generate a range of concepts to improve our home page. It’s a significant challenge, as the home page needs to represent a diverse range of user groups, our business priorities and our direction as an organisation.
On the first day the groupÂ split into three teams,Â bringing together people with a range of specialisms, interests and perspectives. Helen Oake, our metrics analyst, started the day by taking us through some recent usage heat maps of our homepage.Â Beth Morrison, a user researcher, presented the results of an online survey conducted the previous week.