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articles tagged with: bristol


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A meeting of Health and Tech minds...

A meeting of Health and Tech minds...

Last week Jenny and I went along to the Bristol Health Tech meet up - an event exploring how health and technology are working together to share information and improve communication between different kinds of services.

Hosted at the Engine Shed, there was a big turnout with lot of networking and scoffing of bahjees, samosas and yummy fruit juices.

Kicking off the talks was Bristol Health Partners Director David Relph. He gave a really engaging presentation (seriously, one of the best I've ever seen) explaining how the NHS partners work together, and the different areas they cover in terms of service provision and location. We learnt how the pioneering technology project that Relph and his team are working on is changing not only the way patients are being treated, but also making the whole system far more efficient.

By joining up patient notes from every touch point that a patient has within the NHS - doctors, social workers, GPs and many other professionals can access a wealth of information from within one system, despite all 17 NHS partners individually using different systems! Currently in trials, the project so far sounds like it's proving successful. We'll be really keen to hear how it progresses over the coming 12 months.

After a networking and chocolate break :-), next up was Paul Wilson, CEO of Bristol Is Open. Used for research and development work, Bristol Is Open is an innovative experiment that connects partners together across a network using different elements of connectivity:

  • A fibre-optic network running through ducts between the University of Bristol, At-Bristol, Watershed and Engine Shed
  • A mesh network, using 1500 lamp-posts as a self-healing canopy of connectivity across the city
  • A next generation (5G) wireless test running along the Brunel Mile (Temple Meads to the SS Great Britain).

All of this is controlled by a system running at University of Bristol. Customers get a virtual 'slice' of this network, to run and collaborate on their projects. An example of this is at Watershed - one of their cinemas has been upgraded to a high definition 4k projection environment.

Sounds techy - you bet it is! But it's super clever and part of Bristol's plan to be a smart city. Find out more on the Bristol Is Open website.

The event was a really good learning curve - and made me feel proud to be working and living in such a forward-thinking city, doing exciting work that is really shaping our future. Plus, Engine Shed is a pretty cool venue, too.

Annette Ryske
Annette

Created on Thursday April 30 2015 02:38 PM


Tags: technology bristol health 4k


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Annette's a Rails Girl

Annette's a Rails Girl

Heard of Rails? Heard of Girls? What about RailsGirls?!

(Ruby on) Rails is, and I quote Wikipedia: "an open source web application framework written in Ruby". In layman's terms, it's what our clever web developers use to make our websites.

Girls are... well, insert your own answer here.............. (try wonderful, clever etc). But for me as a Girl, I didn't know much about Rails, or Ruby - and in fairness, I don't need to - but I was starting to want to.

Over the three years I've been here at Focus, I've seen and heard lot of code-y, tech-y stuff, like 'Gems', 'Frameworks', 'Scaffolds' and the like. I see black screens with white text on that looks like something out of the Matrix, and I am DEAD impressed. So when I heard about the latest Rails Girls event in Bristol, I signed myself up to find out more.

So a couple of Saturdays ago I headed over to At-Bristol (where loads of cool stuff was going on with kids flying drones and all sorts!), and got stuck in to a really informative, interesting and empowering day. The guys running the sessions all had different experiences with Ruby and Rails. We learnt some basic information, terminologies and the like, did some tutorials, had a yummy lunch, and then onto the highlight - building our own web application. With the assistance of several experienced helpers, I managed to set myself up a server and make myself an 'ideas application'. I made CSS styling changes, created new 'ideas' (headlines with text), I even made buttons that facilitated an image upload.

Back at work on the Monday after the event I proudly showed off my work. I think the developers sniggered into their sleeves a bit :-) but everyone was interested in what I'd done and how I'd done it.

Moreover, I now feel better informed; when talking to our developers and also hearing them talk, and seeing what's happening on their screen when I ask for changes to a website. I know what a Gem is, and what it means to create a new scaffold. And it helps talking to clients about their website work, I can better picture what might be involved with what sounds like a simple change...

So huge thanks to @RailsGirlsBriz - I enjoyed the day and learned lots of new stuff. And the fact they run these events for free I think is marvellous. Can I go to the next one?

Annette Ryske
Annette

Created on Wednesday December 10 2014 09:43 AM


Tags: website open-source web-development bristol rubyonrails ruby rails programming


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It's play time!

It's play time!

The BIG launch! The new-look "Go Places to Play" is here - an online park finder that makes it easy for you and your family to enjoy fun and exciting play opportunities in and around Bristol.

We've recently redesigned goplacestoplay.org.uk for Bristol City Council so that it not only looks better than before but it works better. "Go Places to Play" is now even more intelligent so that you can find parks and play areas far more quickly and efficiently. We understand that you live busy lives and need information at your fingertips - wherever you may be. The site is now responsive so it is easy to use on smartphones, tablets and laptops. This means you can quickly  find your nearest park when you're out and about. You can click on map points to get further information about the park or site you are interested in, or you can use the postcode search to bring up sites in your area.

The online calendar means you can search for local events that suit your requirements and interests. You'll be provided with results if you search using a relevant keyword, or you can find something more specific using the handy advanced search which allows you to search by event type, location and distance from your chosen postcode.

There are also some great ideas for play featuring tips and suggestions from our Play friends and partners - a particularly good resource for the school holidays. Plus, our brand new FAQs section answers many of the common questions we get asked.

As before the option is there to register as an event organiser which means you can upload your own events to feature on the events calendar. Once approved you will see them published.

People like to feel as though they are a part of a website and the 'community' that use it. Interaction is key so if you find something you like on Go Places to Play you can "Share with a friend". Regular news updates also ensure that everybody is on top of all that's going on. It's a site that seems to have people talking, if you want to be a part of the excitement please like the Go Places to Play Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/goplacestoplaybristol or better still, go and check out the site to see for yourself!




Sneak preview just for you!

Sneak preview just for you!

We can't contain our excitement, we simply have to share with you what's bubbling away in the studio!

Improvements are being made to our current online park finder "Go Places To Play" - a website that forms a part of Bristol City Council's campaign to encourage children to play outdoors.

We don't want to give the game away but here are a few snippets of what to expect.

Mobile friendly - We've added more functionality that is based on your current location i.e. your closest park is. It is also a mobile first build; usually mobile sites are designed as a result of a desktop design that is scaled down. Not this site. We've started with the mobile design and scaled up! The build is responsive; meaning you get an optimised view on desktop, tablet and mobile.

User friendly - Much easier to navigate the site. You're guided through it and it is clear to see all it can do and how it can benefit you.

Age appeal - Adults often view the site with their children in mind. The site is much less childlike and now appeals to a wider age range so that it is great for parents to navigate, but still has a family, child-related feel.

Search to suit you - We want people to be able to find personalised information based on where they are and what they like to do rather than just general information.

We've put some serious effort in to not only making the site look good but in making it a useful tool that you feel you can go to and rely on. It's not yet a finished product but we can't wait until it is and you'll be the first to know about it!

If you would like to see the online park finder as it is now, please go to http://goplacestoplay.org.uk/




Focus are on the move...

Focus are on the move...

Team Focus are very excited to announce our imminent office move!

After three happy years on Clifton Triangle, we are relocating to Temple Quay - next to Bristol Temple Meads station - and will be moving in on Tuesday 6th May 2014. We aren't anticipating anything other than the minimum of disruption during that day, and will be available to answer emails and calls as usual - please note that our phone number is not changing.

We'll send formal details out to our customers and suppliers very soon. Meanwhile, you're welcome to have a peek at our building here.

We're up on the fifth floor so looking forward to some cracking views across the waterfront!

Annette Ryske
Annette

Created on Tuesday April 29 2014 03:44 PM


Tags: bristol focus


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Findability Bristol goes Mobile!

Findability Bristol goes Mobile!

Another go-live during our busy Summer was the dedicated Mobile site for Findability Bristol, an online directory for disabled children and their families.

Since the main site went live back in March 2012, we're been monitoring the Analytics, and seen a month-on-month increase in visits from Mobile devices. The figures spoke for themselves - a 481% increase in Mobile visitors in May this year compared to May 2012 - and it was only increasing. This, along with a need by the Family Information Services team at Bristol City Council to make information available and accessible to as many families as they can, made the case for developing a dedicated Mobile site a compelling one.

Key figures:

  • The number of visits made using a mobile device had almost tripled compared to the first 6 months of launch.
  • A 21% drop in pages-per-visit suggests people have grown to expect websites to be mobile compatible - and are losing patience with those that aren't.
  • The average visit duration when accessing via a mobile device had dropped to less than a minute.
  • Almost a 10% increase in new visits being made using a mobile device.
  • 14.36% rise in bounce rate suggests users are getting increasingly deterred as soon as they see the site is incompatible with mobile.

So, we set about developing an easy-to-use site that kept the fundamental features of the desktop version, plus a couple of extras to make full use of the mobile environment - for example, smart phone users who have geolocation enabled, this plots your location and the nearest organisations to you from your search!

Key features:

  • The mobile home page features clear navigation to key area, plus keyword and location search of organisations and events.
  • Search results are displayed along with a Google Map - this links through to view full Google Map and associated functionality - including "show me directions from my current location".
  • The events calendar provides users with a menu offering 'view events for current week' - organised by today, tomorrow, remaining days of that week.
  • Clicking a specific event takes the user through to an individual page for that event, including a Google Map.
  • It's also easy to make contact, provide feedback, and visit the related Facebook (mobile) page.

It's only been a couple of weeks since go live, so we'll be keen to view the analytics in due course and report back on the difference having the dedicated Mobile site has made. We hope this will be more returning visitors, who spend the right amount of time on the right pages, finding what they need quickly and easily.

We'll report back later in the year!

Visit the Desktop site, or the Mobile site (using your mobile for the best experience!)

If you'd like to know more about dedicated Mobile sites, please get in touch.

Annette Ryske
Annette

Created on Tuesday August 06 2013 12:07 PM


Tags: accessibility bristol young-people online-tool iphone disability children mobilewebsite


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A sporting way to fundraise

A sporting way to fundraise

One of the new web sites we've launched recently during our very busy summer is a very worthy one!

Run for the Future - a fundraising 5km fun run - has been staged by the Rotary Club of Bristol each September since 2006, helping to raise funds for the Bristol Urological Institute and their work and research into prostate cancer and post-operative care.

This years race takes place on Durdham Downs, Bristol on the 8th September 2013 - and we've given the Run for the Future web site a facelift and spruce in time to raise awareness and provide information about the event.

We're pleased to support such a great cause, and wish everyone involved all the very best.
 

* If you'd like to take part and help raise even more money to save men's lives you can register here  or call 0117 323 6328. 

** You can also make an online donation here.

Annette Ryske
Annette

Created on Friday July 19 2013 01:26 PM


Tags: charity new-web-site bristol


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Going places, doing things

Going places, doing things

Since 2008 we've been helping Bristol City Council promote positive activities through the web sites Go Places Do Things and Go Places To Play. In March 2013, both sites became part of Bristol Youth Links - a major project investing millions of pounds in to services for young people, and at that point the council commissioned Focus to take a much more 'hands on' approach to the day-to-day management and administration of 'Go Do' and 'Go Play'. 

This allowed our team to get far more involved with a specific group of end users - in this case, event providers throughout the region looking to publicise and promote their activities. As well as our ongoing design work - including seasonal updates and strengthening social media presences with regular Twitter and Facebook activity, the team at Focus now offer a first-point helpdesk for providers which offers guidance and training on web site administration systems, as well as helping to publish news articles and service announcements. 

We've also produced a series of regular reports and audits that have helped the Bristol Youth Links team identify gaps in service provision - vital for ensuring there are sufficient play groups, youth clubs and support organisations within the city.

"We are all really impressed with the level of support Focus are giving Bristol Youth Links. Their service is proactive, efficient and effective and it's great to have Focus on board".
Nikki Davey, Project Officer - Bristol Youth Links
Bristol City Council

Jordana Jeffrey
Jordana

Created on Friday July 19 2013 12:54 PM


Tags: bristol bristolcitycouncil goplacestoplay


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Up Up and Away..with the new Bristol Balloons web site

Up Up and Away..with the new Bristol Balloons web site

Last week we had the pleasure of launching (no pun intended) a new web site for our friends at Bristol Balloons. We manage 3 sites for the Balloons team and this year we were approached about providing an updated and refreshed design to the flagship of these 3 sites, Bristol Balloons.

It wasn't just the front end that required an update; we have to undertake a complete bespoke development upgrade of the entire back-end system as well.

We've been working long and hard over the last couple of months on developing a back-end system which will prove to be much more flexible and productive for the team at Bristol Balloons

Design wise we've used the space available in terms of the width and also made key elements available 'above the fold'. The design is centred around striking images that really sell the experience of a balloon flight to users. The new clearer language, navigation and 'call to actions' will have a real positive effect on the conversion rates of the site. 

We've also ensured that the new checkout process follows best practice techniques in order to reduce the number of drop-offs and ensure purchases are completed both quickly and easily. 

In the limited time that the site has been live we've seen a reduction in both Exit and Bounce rates, which is extremely encouraging. Over the next few months we'll be monitoring the key analytics of the site with a view to updating the other two sites; Bath Balloons and Ballooning Network.

So if you're looking for a special treat, that once in a life time experience or just want to see our handy work, why not take a look at what Bristol Balloons has to offer....

Created on Wednesday June 20 2012 03:30 PM


Tags: website e-commerce web-development bristol balloons


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Fab new site for Findability Bristol

Fab new site for Findability Bristol

Last week we proudly launched a great new site for Findability Bristol. It’s an online directory for disabled children and their families, offering information about services, organisations and events in Bristol.

We’ve loved working on the site with the Findability team, and especially enjoyed developing some of its more engaging features, including:
•  Changing home page image every time you visit
•  Advanced search, enabling postcode and category filters
•  Scrolling events calendar
•  Site accessibility features such as Text Resize and Text Only
•  Blog – enabling the Findability team to keep in touch with users.

Findability is a Bristol-based portal site for 1Big Database, an online community database we set up for Bristol, Bath & North East Somerset and South Gloucestershire back in 2004.  Findability filters data from 1BD for it’s relevance to disability, and reflects this in the results it shows to the user. It’s an ongoing project, relying on the listees’ details being updated regularly and accurately, therefore providing better and more relevant results for users as time goes on.

We’re delighted to have been a part of such a worthwhile project, and would thank the partnership involved:
• 1Big Database (Bristol City Council, Bath & North East Somerset   Council, South Gloucestershire Council)
•  Bristol Parent Carers
•  BCC Disability Communications Group.

Check out the site here!

Annette Ryske
Annette

Created on Tuesday March 13 2012 10:10 AM


Tags: website accessibility bristol disability


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