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It's play time!

It's play time!

The BIG launch! The new-look "Go Places to Play" is here - an online park finder that makes it easy for you and your family to enjoy fun and exciting play opportunities in and around Bristol.

We've recently redesigned goplacestoplay.org.uk for Bristol City Council so that it not only looks better than before but it works better. "Go Places to Play" is now even more intelligent so that you can find parks and play areas far more quickly and efficiently. We understand that you live busy lives and need information at your fingertips - wherever you may be. The site is now responsive so it is easy to use on smartphones, tablets and laptops. This means you can quickly  find your nearest park when you're out and about. You can click on map points to get further information about the park or site you are interested in, or you can use the postcode search to bring up sites in your area.

The online calendar means you can search for local events that suit your requirements and interests. You'll be provided with results if you search using a relevant keyword, or you can find something more specific using the handy advanced search which allows you to search by event type, location and distance from your chosen postcode.

There are also some great ideas for play featuring tips and suggestions from our Play friends and partners - a particularly good resource for the school holidays. Plus, our brand new FAQs section answers many of the common questions we get asked.

As before the option is there to register as an event organiser which means you can upload your own events to feature on the events calendar. Once approved you will see them published.

People like to feel as though they are a part of a website and the 'community' that use it. Interaction is key so if you find something you like on Go Places to Play you can "Share with a friend". Regular news updates also ensure that everybody is on top of all that's going on. It's a site that seems to have people talking, if you want to be a part of the excitement please like the Go Places to Play Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/goplacestoplaybristol or better still, go and check out the site to see for yourself!




Sneak preview just for you!

Sneak preview just for you!

We can't contain our excitement, we simply have to share with you what's bubbling away in the studio!

Improvements are being made to our current online park finder "Go Places To Play" - a website that forms a part of Bristol City Council's campaign to encourage children to play outdoors.

We don't want to give the game away but here are a few snippets of what to expect.

Mobile friendly - We've added more functionality that is based on your current location i.e. your closest park is. It is also a mobile first build; usually mobile sites are designed as a result of a desktop design that is scaled down. Not this site. We've started with the mobile design and scaled up! The build is responsive; meaning you get an optimised view on desktop, tablet and mobile.

User friendly - Much easier to navigate the site. You're guided through it and it is clear to see all it can do and how it can benefit you.

Age appeal - Adults often view the site with their children in mind. The site is much less childlike and now appeals to a wider age range so that it is great for parents to navigate, but still has a family, child-related feel.

Search to suit you - We want people to be able to find personalised information based on where they are and what they like to do rather than just general information.

We've put some serious effort in to not only making the site look good but in making it a useful tool that you feel you can go to and rely on. It's not yet a finished product but we can't wait until it is and you'll be the first to know about it!

If you would like to see the online park finder as it is now, please go to http://goplacestoplay.org.uk/




Going places, doing things

Going places, doing things

Since 2008 we've been helping Bristol City Council promote positive activities through the web sites Go Places Do Things and Go Places To Play. In March 2013, both sites became part of Bristol Youth Links - a major project investing millions of pounds in to services for young people, and at that point the council commissioned Focus to take a much more 'hands on' approach to the day-to-day management and administration of 'Go Do' and 'Go Play'. 

This allowed our team to get far more involved with a specific group of end users - in this case, event providers throughout the region looking to publicise and promote their activities. As well as our ongoing design work - including seasonal updates and strengthening social media presences with regular Twitter and Facebook activity, the team at Focus now offer a first-point helpdesk for providers which offers guidance and training on web site administration systems, as well as helping to publish news articles and service announcements. 

We've also produced a series of regular reports and audits that have helped the Bristol Youth Links team identify gaps in service provision - vital for ensuring there are sufficient play groups, youth clubs and support organisations within the city.

"We are all really impressed with the level of support Focus are giving Bristol Youth Links. Their service is proactive, efficient and effective and it's great to have Focus on board".
Nikki Davey, Project Officer - Bristol Youth Links
Bristol City Council

Jordana Jeffrey
Jordana

Created on Friday July 19 2013 12:54 PM


Tags: bristol bristolcitycouncil goplacestoplay


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Increasing User Engagement

Increasing User Engagement

We've been doing a lot of work for one of our favourite clients, Bristol City Council on two of their web sites; Go Places Do Things and Go Places to Play.

In the Autumn of 2011 we had a review of the first six months of 2011/12 regarding the performance of the web sites and from this put together a plan for the next six months. The main aim was increasing traffic and user engagement of the sites.

Over the last 6 months we've been working closely with the BCC team and introduced a monthly update schedule that is used to create new content for the site; this includes news articles and polls along with updates to the video content on the site. 

In Q1 and Q2 of 2011/12 10 news articles were created for Go Places Do Things with the news page achieving an average of 15 views per month. In Q3 & Q4 we produced 35 news articles and achieved an average of 40 views per month, not bad considering that Q2 is the busiest period for the site and Q3 is the quietest.

The additional news articles and regular updates made to the Go Places To Play web site meant that we have DOUBLED the traffic between 2010/11 and 2011/12. Our news articles have also ensured that we were ranking for specific keywords in organic search rankings. The figures really do show that content is a brilliant way of engaging and increasing users whilst ensuring that your site is refreshed. A news / blog page is a very simple way of achieving this.

Another really interesting statistic which can up was the increase in mobile traffic. We had a jump from 4% average in 2010/11 to 14% average in 2011/12 for Go Places To Play (including a massive 20% in Q4). We know mobile traffic is increasing on a weekly if not daily basis, but the 1 in 5 visitors statistic for Q4 was one which really did surprise me.

We'll be working closely with BCC to ensure that mobile visitors are as engaged as our desktop visitors.

Created on Thursday April 12 2012 08:36 AM


Tags: website blog bristolcitycouncil goplacestoplay content news


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A great weekend at Bristol Harbour Festival

A great weekend at Bristol Harbour Festival

Had a great weekend at Bristol Harbour Festival this weekend - the weather held out (apart from a small down-pour on Saturday night!), there were some great acts and loads of stuff to do for young people.

Highlights for me included beat boxer extraordinaire Vid Warren, Kid Carpet (always good for a giggle) and the bizarre but incredible youth theatre production Run (on King Street on Saturday afternoon), organised by Bristol Old Vic's Young Company.

A couple of our clients were out in force too - namely Go Places Do Things and Go Places to Play, who were there to promote Play Day 2010 - taking place this Wednesday 4th August!

All in all, a brilliant weekend showcasing Bristol's talent, and best of all, it's completely free!

Thanks Bristol City Council - had a great time!!




BCC and Focus join forces for the ENGAGE_YOUTH workshop

BCC and Focus join forces for the ENGAGE_YOUTH workshop

I have had the pleasure this morning to support Les Compton of Bristol City Council with presenting our website Go Places Do Things at the Engage event at the Watershed.

The workshop was arranged to discuss digital tools for participation and active citizenship with participants from the UK, Germany and Denmark.

ENGAGE is a continuing professional development programme for European youth workers who wish to understand the new ICT-enabled culture and explore how web 2.0 and social media tools can help to extend and enhance their practice.

Les and I went along to talk about our participation with young people while developing and evolving the GPDT site, as well as discussing the challenges that we have faced and the plans for the future. We discussed the access we have given to youth workers and other activity providers for adding their own events and direct feeds that have been set up from the BCC events online and 1 Big Database.

After Bristol the programme will move to Aarhus, Denmark and then on to Hannover in Germany where participants will continue to develop their understanding of how developments in ICT and online technologies can amplify and extend the voice of young people in European society.

The session was really interesting and we had the opportunity to discuss the other online solutions that people have set up, as well as talking about how to get young people to participate and engage as young editors on website content.

I will certainly be following the progress of the programme via the Engage website and will be looking to keep in touch with some of the participants at the workshop.




Bristol's Deputy Lord Mayor helps to launch Bristol Parenting Hub!

Bristol's Deputy Lord Mayor helps to launch Bristol Parenting Hub!

As part of National Families Week, Emily went along to the launch event for Bristol City Council's Bristol Parenting Hub website last Wednesday, and met the Deputy Lord Mayor!

The site, designed to signpost parents of children and young people of all ages to key pieces of information regarding their children's upbringing, had a great response, and we hope to see user numbers grow over the coming months.

We're always looking to add to the information carried on there, so take a look and let us know what you think!




Bristol City Council Revamps Go Places To Play site

Bristol City Council Revamps Go Places To Play site

Working with Bristol City Council, we relaunched their Go Places to Play website at the end of last week.

The updated site carries much more information for parents and carers of young people about Bristol's parks and green spaces, including the ability to search for the nearest green space to you through a postcode finder feature.

With many new parks and green spaces opening in Bristol throughout the Summer, try visiting the site to find your local play area. You might be surprised!

 

Created on Tuesday June 01 2010 02:15 PM


Tags: youth fun games bristol bristolcitycouncil goplacestoplay


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RVoice website launch event

RVoice website launch event

On Tuesday evening Emily and I attended the launch event of the Bristol City Council Pledge to Children in Care, which is supported by their new RVoice website – designed and developed by Focus.

We had lots of positive feedback from people at the event including Annie Hudson, Strategic Director for Children, Young People and Skills, who gave us a special thank you in her ceremonial cake cutting speech – which was much appreciated.

The site and The Pledge document have all been created with the same graphics and style – created by Simon Mosse our designer.

Now that the site is up and running we’ll continue to work closely with the Children in Care Council, Bristol City Council and Reconstruct to ensure that the content is kept up to date and interesting, as well as reviewing the usage, stats and goals for the site to keep it moving forward.

Created on Wednesday April 21 2010 03:01 PM


Tags: website youth web-design rvoice bristolcitycouncil


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Helping to shape Bristol City Council's website strategy

Helping to shape Bristol City Council's website strategy

I attended an event this morning, organised by Bristol Media in partnership with Bristol City Council, to discuss the plans for the complete redevelopment of the Bristol City Council website and content management system.

Primarily the event was organised as an informal discussion surrounding the future of the website and the council’s wider digital offer.

The need to consult with the local digital community on their plans at an early stage was highlighted by Peter Holt (BCC’s Service Director of Communications) who recited a story about the disaster that Birmingham City Council faced when they unveiled their new website to a group of external web developers who proceeded to pull it to pieces and then create something better in the space of 48 hours!

After an overview of some of the issues with the existing platform, the vision for the new site and the plans for some data portals for public access to information, we were split into three separate discussion groups.

The sessions were set up to discuss “What ideas do we have for quick wins, and how best can we create an open environment where the local digital community can contribute to the site’s longer-term utilisation and exploitation?”.

Although in the introduction BCC highlighted that they required feedback on things such as the navigation for the site; social media and an enhanced user experience. The feeling within our group was generally that we needed more information from BCC, about who the site is for; the objectives for the site; the results from their usability audits and their findings from Google Analytics, so that we can begin to discuss and define how things such as blogs and widgets will be beneficial.

There were also many questions raised about the ‘open environment’ and how this will work if the platform BCC decide to use isn’t Open Source?

Obviously for us, we want to continue working on sites such as Go Places Do Things and 1 Big Database, where members of the council can be creative and have (almost) free reign over the content on the site, but with far more integration and information sharing between other BCC digital projects, including the new website.

I feel that the event was a step in the right direction for the council and by bringing the digital community together for a common cause they will have access not only to the best digital agencies in Bristol but access to a wealth of ideas and experience. The key now is how they use this information to move forward!