What does this page do?

June 19, 2019

When you are creating a web page it's important to think about what your users' need.

Not what you want to tell them. Not what they want. Not what they think they need.

So, what do you users actually need? Well, that depends on what they need to do.

Are they looking for information?

Do they want to apply for something?

Do they want reassurance?

One way to think about this is to write job stories. They look like this:

When [there's a particular situation]

I want to [perform an action or find something out]

So that I can [achieve my goal of...]

How does this work in real life?

Sebacic did some work with a SENDIAS (Special educational needs and disabilities information and advice service) and asked the team to think about all the service users they had helped over the last couple of weeks. Between them, the team came up with over 70 job stories from the perspective of parents.

Here are a few examples.

  • When my child was being bullied because of their “tics”, I want to know what I can expect school to do, so that I can send my child to school knowing they will be happy.
  • When my child is refused an assessment by the LA but school and paediatrician think they need an EHCP, I want to know how to appeal the decision and time frames etc., so that I can appeal the decision or be supported through the process.
  • When my school says there is no funding, I want to know what they should be doing without extra funding, so that I can make sure my child's needs are being met.
  • When my child goes to high school, I want to know what support will be available like extra taster days, so that I can make sure it is a smooth transition.
  • When the local authority named a mainstream school for my child, I want to appeal against this decision, so that I can give her the best life chances.

You can see from these job stories that parents feel a lot of pain. And it's the point of the SENDIAS service to try to take away this pain. Through their website, they will be able to give specific advice and support. This should help parents and young people to use their time with the SENDIAS team more appropriately. It should also free up the time of the SENDIAS team.

When you know your users want to get something done, writing job stories is a great place to start. It makes it clear what you need to put in your website and other materials.

If you like to read more about job stories, Sarah Richards' book "Content Design" is a great place to start.

If you'd like help with content for your website or other resources, please get in touch.