About the project
In 2018, Acas brought in a Scroll content designer to help rewrite its website guidance for employers, employees and HR professionals.
A 2017 content audit, done as part of a wider review of the Acas website, found that:
- less than a quarter of the content generated 99% of all page views and downloads
- more than one-third of the content was out-of-date or redundant
- more content served Acas’s organisational needs than the needs of its main user groups
- the content was difficult to read
This audit and other evidence led to another piece of work, known as an ‘alpha’. The Acas digital team – including a product manager, user researcher and content designers – investigated:
- the needs the website should meet
- what to do to meet these needs
Among other things, they discovered content for employees, especially those with low digital skills, should be kept concise. They also found that the content and design of the website needed to be simpler and clearer, so that users would know they were on the right page.
The alpha found that a new project phase – ‘beta’ – was required. This phase would essentially be the creation of a brand new Acas website.
As part of this, content from the old website would need to be ‘transitioned’ to the new website. However, the nature of the problem meant this could not just be a simple ‘lift and shift’. It had to be rewritten from scratch using tried-and-tested content design principles, as used on GOV.UK.
When looking at what content should be prioritised, the digital team took an ‘80/20’ approach. This meant they transitioned the content affecting the greatest number of people first.
Working alongside the digital team, the Scroll content designer bore the following questions in mind before writing any words:
- why are we creating the content?
- who needs it?
- how many people are likely to read it?
- what is the impact on users if this is not available?
- does it fit with business objectives?