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Changes to the VOICE Web Platform

  • 18/07/2019
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New member of the VOICE team: John Dawson

As proud as we are of the VOICE website, we have some big plans going ahead to improve the site for all users and collaborators, so that it is easier to get what you want from VOICE and to have your say.

My name is John and my background is in web development. I have been working at Newcastle University for a few years now, after completing my degree in Computer Science here. I joined VOICE in September last year to help with this next stage of development and we are hoping to have all the new features in place by the end of summer.

The first stage of this is to look at everyone currently using the website, what they use it for or may want to be able to do with it, and finally how they are able to achieve this. We want to make sure that it isn’t confusing or difficult to use and that it is useful, interesting and relevant and we’ll be asking you to get involved in this process.

Over the next few months, we’ll be holding a series of workshops and discussions which will lead to a redesign of the website to ensure that it is intuitive and accessible. This is the “how it looks” part of the development; where all the sections of the web platform should be, how you access them, how they are presented to the user etc. The next stage of development will be the “how it works” part.  We are planning to update existing parts of the site as well as introducing some new features like a courses and resources section and updated discussion forum.

This is very much a co-design task so there will be opportunities to contribute your ideas and feedback and we will also likely hold some workshops to test some features and get your opinion on the work we are doing.  In the meantime, if you have any thoughts or ideas do get in touch and I look forward to meeting some of you over the next couple of months.

John Dawson, VOICE Digital Platform Developer,
National Innovation Centre for Ageing,
Newcastle University


Add a comment
  • Ianeon
    19th July 2019

    "As proud as we are of the VOICE website" - I am not :(

    "We have some big plans going ahead to improve the site for all users " - I'm pleased about this :)

    "collaborators" - WOW - dictionary definition is "people who cooperate traitorously with an enemy; a defector" - this is scary - lol.

    But then again perhaps this is better - "a person who works jointly on an activity or project -associates"


    You say "we have some big plans" - are these secrets, or can the members comment(?) You have an agenda - you have a plan - you have a future - why not share it? Why can't you tell us, the members, what your aim is and ask our opinion? Why can't you survey the whole membership and ask them how often they visit the site, what they want from the site, does it achieve its aim(?) Why not ask researchers & students their opinion.

    We love VOICE - it is a brilliant concept - we will help.


    19th July 2019

    Afternoon, Ian! Thanks for your comments. We're really passionate about having VOICE members feed into the entire design process of the website, and so for this major phase of development we've ran a series of workshops (in Newcastle and in London) with members of the public (members and non-members of VOICE) and researchers to discuss how they use the website, and what they would like to see. We'll continue to run these workshops to test out the new functionality and design - keep an eye out for these opportunities on the site!

  • meeravijay
    18th July 2019

    Welcome to the team John!