LocalGov Digital - Content Standard

LocalGov Digital has today published its digital Content Standards for use across the sector.

The document, which covers a checklist for digital content as well as guidance on quality and style, is the first resource published from the network’s steering group.

The Content Standards support the group’s aim to raise digital aspiration across the sector and support those with limited resource or skills.

Steering group Chair and Digital Communications Manager (strategic lead) at Devon County Council, Carl Haggerty said:

“It’s exciting to launch and share the Content Standard, coming a year after the formation of the LocalGov Digital steering group this is exactly the sort of practical resource we aimed to produce and build on as a foundation for improvement.

“We hope it will have a positive impact on raising digital aspirations and provide a valuable resource for councils in improving the quality of content and focusing on users.

“In Devon we’ve already started to adopt the Content Standards for all content in our new website and have included a supplement detailing local variations. I’d encourage other councils to do the same and to let us know.”

The workstream to research and produce the Content Standards was led by steering group members Phil Rumens (West Berkshire Council), Marc Snaith (Surrey County Council) and Jason Williams (Cornwall Council) with input from Sarah Lay (Nottinghamshire County Council)  and from outside of the group James Gore (West Berkshire Council) and Paul Mackay (Nesta).

Vice Chair of the LocalGov Digital steering group and Web Development Manager at West Berkshire Council, Phil Rumens said:

“As one of the workstream leads on Content, Design and Development it’s been great to produce the Content Standard as the first resource of the LocalGov Digital steering group.

“The standard brings together good practice and existing guides from UK and world local government, the approach by the Government Digital Service and established style guides from places like The Guardian.

“We know that many councils have developed digital style guides but there are many more that haven’t. For both groups we feel the Content Standard will be a useful resource which can be taken wholesale or localised by each council.

“We intend, like everything LocalGov Digital produces, for this to be a living document that evolves based on feedback, learning and in line with changing technology and user behaviour.

“At West Berkshire we have formally adopted the standard for our new websites and I hope many more councils will follow.”

Other resources from the group will follow including guidelines on content governance, Design and Development Standards, resources for local leaders and elected members, and audit tools for local infrastructure.

LocalGov Digital would like feedback from practitioners across the sector on the Content Standards as well as to hear from those who adopt it. Please leave a comment below, tweet us and include the hash tag #localgovdigital or join the discussions in ourG+ and KHub groups.

The next monthly LocalGov Digital G+ Hangout will be a discussion on ‘The Life and Times of Digital Content’. Join the Hangout between 2 and 3pm on Thursday 17 October 2013 or see our listings for other events to get involved in.