11 December 2017
The National Assembly for Wales’ Research Service (Senedd Research) has redesigned its blog, IN BRIEF, as part of ongoing efforts to continually innovate and improve what it offers Assembly Members and their staff. The blog is also increasingly used by stakeholders and the wider public, which ensures that the Assembly engages with the people of Wales, and gives the people of Wales an opportunity to engage with the Assembly.
Content-wise, nothing is changing. We will still be providing bite-sized and easily digestible information and commentary on topical issues and developments within the Assembly. If you are already subscribed to the blog, you will continue to receive email alerts each time new articles are posted. If you are not already subscribed, why not do so now to receive email alerts each time a new article is posted and/or weekly and monthly summaries?
What are the main changes?
We have given our popular blog a contemporary, mobile-friendly new look, aiming to improve visual appeal and usability, with greater use of images and more efficient use of screen space. The revamped ‘Browse by topic’ and ‘Archive’ functions should help readers navigate the site and find articles of interest. There is, of course, also the search icon (magnifying glass) in the top right of the screen to enable you to search by key words. This is next to the Facebook and Twitter icons.
The home page of IN BRIEF will continue to signpost to the most recent and topical articles in date order, but the new design also enables us to feature particular articles at the top of the home page.
The article in the top left will be our most topical and/or latest post, whilst the box to the right will link to information about Senedd Research and how to contact and follow us. The three circular features below these two boxes link to other, topical pages such as our Plenary Posts page, updates on Brexit and recent publications.
The six most recent posts will be featured below this, with links to the full article and to other posts within the same topic or sub-topic. For example, an article about Additional Learning Needs will be tagged with a link to other articles about education or children and young people.
Users interested in a particular subject will be able to browse by topic as well as using the archive function to browse a full chronological list of articles posted.
Who are we and what is IN BRIEF?
The Research Service is a research, analysis and information service designed to meet the needs of Assembly Members and their staff. We provide impartial, authoritative information on the latest topics under consideration at the National Assembly for Wales. The core elements of our services are our enquiry service for Members, our support for Committees’ scrutiny of the Welsh Government and topical publications and articles published on IN BRIEF. Further information on who we are and what we do is available on the About us page of this blog and our section of the Assembly website.
We launched IN BRIEF in autumn 2013 as a means of innovating and improving our services to Assembly Members and their staff, recognising the increasing role that digital media plays in facilitating parliamentary scrutiny. The use of our blog has grown massively and it is now an integral part of what we do. The number of views on IN BRIEF has risen from 34,000 in 2014 to 175,000 in 2017 to date. Engaging with stakeholders through the blog complements their involvement in discussing and implementing public policy in Wales.
Number of views on IN BRIEF 2014-17
At the start of this Assembly (May 2016), we upgraded our support for Assembly Business, committing to routinely posting articles ahead of certain Plenary items to inform and facilitate scrutiny and debate:
- Major Welsh Government policy debates;
- Debates on Bills; and
- Debates on Assembly Committee inquiry reports.
Our ‘Plenary Posts’ page lists the Plenary debates and statements that are taking place in the next couple of weeks, ahead of which we will be posting blog articles on those topics.
We hope our blog visitors enjoy using the redesigned site and continue to read our topical and informative articles. Don’t forget you can subscribe to receive, by email, real-time alerts each time a new article is posted and/or weekly and monthly summaries.
Our contact and twitter details can be found on the About us page.