About the Work
The UK Parliament sought a comprehensive digital solution to replace its outdated paper-based system used for guiding MPs and staff through parliamentary procedures. The objective was to develop an Alpha and Beta service aligned with Parliament’s data-driven website redesign, utilizing an RDF N-Tripples canonical form for structuring data.
The primary challenge was to transition from a paper-based system to a digital guide without compromising the depth and complexity of the information provided. The project required accommodating long-read texts, transactional elements, video content, and data-driven content types within a user-friendly navigational framework. Maintaining an intuitive user journey and integrating a flat, data-driven navigational structure to align with Parliament’s taxonomy further complicated the solution.
Statement of Requirement
- Develop a digital guide to support MPs and staff in understanding parliamentary procedures.
- Deliver an Alpha and Beta service consistent with a data-driven website redesign.
- Ensure the solution adheres to a structured data approach using RDF N-Tripples.
Solution Development: We adopted a headless content management system (CMS) approach, evaluating several OTS/COTS solutions to identify the best fit for Parliament’s needs. A COTS solution was chosen for its alignment with user and technology requirements.
Collaborative Workflows: Working closely with the Parliament Digital Service (PDS), we aided in procurement and setup, ensuring user access and content templating met Parliamentary standards.
User and Business-Centered Product Management: Our strategy focused on integrating a data-driven canonical navigational structure through hybrid development, including UI and workflow enhancements and middleware API creation.
Design and Iteration: We engaged in full-team design critiques, co-design workshops, service blueprinting, and facilitated design sprints following an Agile Scrum methodology. This approach helped us rapidly ideate, prototype, and test user-centered solutions.
Continuous Improvement: Our efforts included workshops for articulating mission statements, introducing goal-oriented roadmaps, and bridging gaps between design and development.
Capacity Building: We supported PDS through personnel growth, upskilling new recruits, and facilitating knowledge transfer.
The application of agile methodologies enabled the successful delivery of a digital service that effectively replaced the legacy paper-based guide. The service has improved user experience, streamlined the process of referencing parliamentary procedure, and has been released as a public Beta. Leveraging the insights gained, we deployed our own headless CMS to the G-Cloud and have since been assisting other organizations in understanding and implementing headless content management approaches.