Creating a Digital Skills Hub - Week Notes – Week 2


There’s been lots of activity behind the scenes this week designing the Digital Skills Hub, as it gets nearer and nearer to its release date.

The Digital Skills Hub

The Digital Skills Hub is a SharePoint communication site, so I have had to learn lots about the features and abilities that SharePoint has to offer. There are lots of great features with SharePoint and I love the way it interacts with all the different Microsoft 365 features and products; however, it does have its limitations when coming to design. You don’t get complete freedom when it comes to layout which at times can be really frustrating. But, let's remember this is an out of the box solution to getting something that looks professional up and running in a relatively quick time frame without having to have any coding knowledge. That’s the advantage of using SharePoint.

Agile Working

We work in an agile way so It’s important to get feedback throughout the design process, why waste time designing the end product if it's not fit for purpose. We break projects up into small tasks, then present a prototype to the user who provides feedback so we can make iterations (actions or changes). This cycle continues through the rest of the design process. This is where the Digital Champions have an integral role in the development of the Digital Skills Hub - more to follow on this in the coming weeks.

Digital Champions

This week saw the launch of our Digital Champions Teams Site, which is how we will all keep in contact, support each other and build a sense of community in between our monthly network meetings. Already we have seen the benefits of being able to support each other and celebrate each other's achievements & success stories no matter how big or small. Let’s take a sneak peek at a few:

“I just wanted to share a positive action from what I’ve already learnt! 
In a recent meeting, Lara shared the Microsoft Training website and from taking part in the Introduction to Microsoft Planner I’ve now been able to create a team plan for the Albion Mill Community Hub team. This was especially important as the staff work shifts so there is never a full team for our weekly meetings - previously actions where shared via email and could easily get missed and weren't tracked. Now we have a full plan with different 'buckets' for different areas of work. Thanks!”

“This morning I was thrown in at the deep end - I was the meeting organiser & I had to record it, set up and manage breakout rooms and share all the documents as they were discussed. I've now worked out how to get my recording back to do the minutes. All pretty easy when you know how BUT frightening to start with.”

“I just wanted to share that following asking a question in this group & Lara getting back to me and sending the link for requesting a Microsoft Teams site, I have managed to request one for our team and it’s now all set up and I have added channels in it too, to be able to share and collaborate easily. Now to share with the team how we can start using this more rather than keeping sharing between emails etc”

How the Digital Champions Teams Site is set up

The Teams site is made up of different channels, each themed around a topic so that it is easier to navigate around to find what you need:

  • General – Digital news updates
  • Admin – Behind the scenes planning (Private Channel
  • Events – Discussions relating to upcoming digital events at BwD
  • Introductions – Meet the champions, role profiles
  • Learning – Resource videos, documents and upcoming training sessions
  • Network Meetings – Monthly meeting recording & chat
  • Questions – Support in getting the answer to digital questions
  • Success – Celebrating each other achievements with success stories
  • Tips and Suggestions – Sharing any quick hints and tips

As we develop our programme, we will keep reviewing the channels and any that are unused we will remove as well as any in any we think will be useful.

My goals for next week are to:

  • Have the first prototype of the Digital Skills Hub ready to show to the Digital Champions
  • Design content pages to pull through to the Digital Skills Hub
  • Meet with various sections of the Digital Team to gather content

By Lara Lowe on 29th Mar 2022
Lara is an assistant Service Designer at Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council.