Every now and again we have a stand-out web author whom we feel deserves recognition. This month we have named Kirsty McMahon ‘Top Content Author’.
Kirsty, who works for Northamptonshire Highways, was given the award due to her consistent good work with editing and updating the
Tom Frost, Website Administrator, interviewed Kirsty to find out what makes her such a good content author.
T: Firstly, congratulations on winning this award and thank you for doing such a great job on the website. Let’s get started… What is your day to day role when you’re not working on the website?
K: Well thank you for the award! It’s always nice to get some recognition for the work I do. My job title is Assistant Business Development Officer within Transport and Highways. On a day to day basis I am responsible for reviewing Street Doctor reports, other customer contacts and any service feedback to produce monthly reports which analyses the quality of responses provided to our customers.
T: Sounds like you are kept pretty busy. How do you find time to keep the website up to date and what work do you do on the website?
K: I really enjoy working on the website and I’m always looking for ways that we can improve our site to promote the work that we do. I set aside time on a weekly basis to review any website feedback that may have come in and action any urgent changes. I also assign some time on a monthly basis to review and update content or files.
K: I work in conjunction with other officers to ensure that any required updates are actioned and maintain a log of web page review dates which helps me to keep track of the 92 pages within the Northamptonshire Highways section of the site.
T: So what is the Highways website mainly used for?
K: The most frequently visited pages in no particular order are: fault reporting via Street Doctor, applying for parking permits, paying parking fines (PCNs), home to school transport, and roadworks.
K: There is a lot of information on our site which details the works that we undertake such as our major projects, gritting routes and work programmes. We also publicise our Network Management Plan and Asset Management Strategy as well as promoting other modes of transport such as walking or cycling.
K: It is also possible to apply for skips or scaffolding licences, apply for a dropped kerb or apply for a white access line across a driveway.
T: What are some of the improvements you have recently made to the website?
K: Our website was redesigned by the web team last summer so I haven’t made any major changes to the look and feel of the site.
K: I am currently undertaking a rolling review of all of our web pages and using information provided from the “rate this page” and exit surveys to identify any improvement areas highlighted by our customers.
K: I am also currently looking at ways of promoting some of the lesser visited areas of the site to help our customers locate relevant information more quickly. I am also looking at new content which could be added to our web site such as traffic orders information.
K: I recently made a change to a small bit of text at the top of our main
Highways homepage – this was to highlight to customers that they could also check for updates using the main button at the top, as well as just reporting faults. This may seem like a tiny change but changing tiny details like this can often have a big impact on calls and the customer experience, particularly if they are on a heavily-viewed page.
T: That’s great, it’s always good to look at how areas can be improved.
T: Final question for you Kirsty - what tips or advice can you give the other website authors?
K: I’d recommend setting aside time and reminders in your diary to update or check the web pages you manage.
K: Look at any feedback you receive and take it on board as that will help you get an idea of what your customers may want.
K: When editing content keep in mind the content author
user guide and checklist and have a look through them before submitting the document. This saves getting an email back to make some more changes that you may have missed.
K: If you ever get stuck with anything you can always
email the web team.