Federal Provincial Territorial COVID-19 web management working group/October 13 2020

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Integrating the different levels of government

Self-assessment tools linked from federal page https://ca.thrive.health/covid19/en

  • Good for PEI
  • Good for ON
  • Good for NWT
  • Martin Boucher - For Québec :

Provincial and territorial COVID-19 resources page:

Guidance for providers of services for people experiencing homelessness (in the context of COVID-19)


What’s working to get things moving more quickly or make work more efficient?

  • Slack
  • Guidelines for writing
  • ROT
  • Sharing prototypes instead of Word docs for approvals:
  • Screen share + verbal feedback
  • FIGMA allows annotations
  • Approval meetings where approvers go through the prototype all together instead of routing a document through a chain of approvals

Neil Littlejohns (Ontario Digital Service) - a lot of people in the Ontario Digital Service say that Slack has been the thing which has allowed them to move quickly. Fast/smooth communication is paramount for us right now

Jo - Government of Yukon - We developed guidance for the people who write the guidelines who weren't experienced in writing web content. It's helped quite a bit to cut down editing and the ability to get content online much more quickly. It's helped build relationships too.

Teressa Peters - PEI has 159 pages about COVID on the site, we are in the process of reviewing all of these pages, some can be updated, some archived, some combined....quite a process!

Neil Littlejohns (Ontario Digital Service) - on the design/approvals side, Figma is a huge boost for us, being able to share prototypes quickly has been huge.

  • Translation continues to be a challenge for us, so would love to hear recommendations on how to streamline that.

Lauren Sugar - Approvals continue to be a huge challenge for getting content online quickly - would love to hear if anyone has any innovative solutions!

Richard Cormier - translation has been an issue with us as well as English approvals are often last minute and sometimes have significant changes before being approved.

Martin Boucher - Québec : all our communications are centralized with a central team and dispatched to teams in ministries.

Jo - Government of Yukon - We've been using GatherContent for quite a long time (pre-Covid) which is just for editing but really helps digital and communications writers work with program staff. You can write your own templates for your content types.

Allan Lawlor - NS has used GatherContent outside of COVID projects

Neil Littlejohns (Ontario Digital Service) - as an example, the original, Ontario-specific version of COVID Alert was prototyped in Figma: https://www.figma.com/proto/NfWbSTFwoVJ8YM6KDmx6KC/Ontario-(COVID-Alert)_Internal-ODS-file?node-id=33%3A1838&viewport=354%2C455%2C0.03772130608558655&scaling=scale-down We were able to do remote user testing by having Ontarians interact with this prototype, it was really fantastic.

Pressure points


Communicating alert level guidance:

  • Martin Boucher - Québec : rising cases, (very) complex communications (regional «colours»), have a prototype for a more precise map based on municipalities (done with mapbox) with a searchable list below the map
  • Umesh Sutendra (NWT) - Stick to smaller gatherings - Your Fave Five - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nuw_C7T_fm8
  • Jo - Government of Yukon - The UK has just moved to a three-tier system by region so gov.uk may be handy to have a look at.

Priorities for publishing & resourcing for teams

  • Martin Boucher - Quebec - We run usability tests, analyse users comments and then we initiate dialogue with content «owners»
  • BC is using Google Dialogflow for Chatbot. They are looking at creating a bot in a box to share with jurisdictions.
  • Martin Boucher - Québec uses a chatbot based on BotPress
  • Teressa Peters - PEI is mostly Mon-Fri again, but there are a few updates that have to happen at night
  • Allan Lawlor - similar situation in NS
  • Neil Littlejohns (Ontario Digital Service) - on Production we can do preview links which require a login to view, and then on Staging we can share things without a login being necessary. In a pinch, we just email a screenshot of the page using Firefox's full screen capture tool. (file this under "it's not stupid if it works"
  • Alexander Rutherford - From March through June, we worked modified schedules so we could provide more coverage without incurring a ton of overtime. Some people worked Sunday-Thursday or Tuesday-Saturday. Some people also paired up with a partner to work longer 10-11 hours shifts on a 3-on, 4off, 4on, 3 off rotation. We also staggered hours, so some staff worked later shifts 11-7:15, 12-8:15.
  • Neil Littlejohns (Ontario Digital Service) - on the "rest" side of things, the Ontario Digital Service has given people a couple of "take a day" unofficial vacation days, for people to take an extra day of when they are able to
  • Alexander Rutherford - Alberta has centralized web services, but we've divided into two teams. One side handles the regular program/services content. The other team handles COVID and the "strategic" projects (anything related to major government announcements, legislation, engagements, hair on fire situations).