Posts Tagged ‘CIVIC’

CIVIC Launches Cookie Control Solution

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

Webmasters are now able to avoid prosecution following the launch of Cookie Control, a cookie consent solution, by digital communications agency CIVIC. Cookie Control was developed in response to demand from CIVIC’s many government clients including the Scottish Government, SQA and Skills Development Scotland. Developed at no cost to the taxpayer, the project is a great example of collaboration both within the public sector and the private sector.

To act in accordance with new EU legislation, websites must now gain consent for the use of cookies or similar technologies. From May 2012, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) will begin to prosecute webmasters who have failed to comply.

The law means that webmasters must audit their cookies and present clear information about them on their privacy policy and provide a mechanism for obtaining consent, before cookies are collected, and make any technical changes to cookie-storing scripts in order to test for consent before any are stored.

CIVIC’s Cookie Control solution is a smart plug-in, designed to gain user consent where other solutions have failed. It comes with an online configurator where users can set their customised styling options, select the position of the Cookie Control icon, edit the supplied boiler-plate text and include a link to their privacy policy.

The service will also provide examples of how to adapt standard third party scripts to test for user consent before they run, and the team at CIVIC are also available to help with custom implementations and cookie audits.

While many websites will be able to comply with a few tweaks to their code and the application of Cookie Control, some third party apps like Google Analytics and websites reliant on sales and advertising, will be affected. Not surprisingly, many website owner’s reactions have been quite negative.

Big providers of internet services liberally use cookies to make their websites work, track user behaviour and personalise the user’s browsing experience, however this data, once brought into existence, has a way of getting out, being repurposed for commercial gain or otherwise misused.

Mark Steven, CIVIC’s Head of Client Services, says: “Despite the overall unenthusiastic reaction, we think the new cookie law will produce a new kind of good practise for websites and prevent user-identifiable data getting into the hands of big corporates and their governments. Ultimately, for the protection of individual freedoms online, this is a good thing.”

“We think our Cookie Control solution is a simple, universal way for websites to comply with the regulations and we look forward to helping websites stay on the right side of the law.”

CIVIC is an independent creative digital communications agency with significant experience in the public and private sector. Using what it calls “creative technology”, CIVIC blends design with cutting edge digital expertise to bring business strategies to realisation through digital media.

For more information contact: Lauren Cormack

User Vision highlights usability and accessibility at free seminar in Edinburgh

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

One of the UK’s leading independent user experience consultancies, User Vision is running a seminar on Monday 28 March at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh to highlight the benefits of usability and accessibility.

The seminar is called ‘Five Usability steps to get more out of your website’ and is hosted by digital communication agency CIVIC.

User experience experts from User Vision will outline why good usability and accessibility are crucial for the effectiveness of an organisation’s website. They will demonstrate best practice through case study examples and provide an overview of an iterative user-centred design process.

Managing Director and founder of User Vision Chris Rourke says: “Good customer experience is vital for any website and user testing at the start of the design process is critical before the development becomes too advanced.

“Once a website is built, it is expensive to make changes, so we encourage our clients to user test early and to test often. This seminar is a great opportunity for individuals and companies to learn how to make the most of their website and in turn improve their profitability”.

Seminar attendees will discover the benefits of usability as part of an overall digital success strategy and gain understanding of the core usability principles. They will also learn user experience trade secrets to ensure that customers find exactly what they are looking for and interact successfully on a website.

User Vision are experts in the field, working with organisations like the BBC, HSBC, Nokia and Emirates Airline to pioneer usability and accessibility. They operate internationally in Dubai, Europe and South America.

To book your place at the seminar on the 28th March visit http://civicusability.eventbrite.com/. The seminar runs from 9am to 11am and is free for public sector workers.

Ends

For more information contact Lucy Smith.

Scotland’s Digital Future: A Strategy for Scotland

Friday, March 4th, 2011

A response from CIVIC

On 3 March the Scottish Government launched its new strategic plan for Scotland’s digital future. It will be significant for our communications infrastructure, for how government intends to engage with the Scottish people and for public sector expenditure in Scotland.

The strategy cites a report that puts the average cost of an online transaction at just 8 pence, compared to £10.53 for a face to face transaction or £3.39 for a telephone transaction.

The implication for how the government expects to interface with its citizens in the coming years is clear. In what is expected to be a protracted public sector recession, citizen demand will remain high, while resources become ever more scarce. Where possible, government agencies will be encouraged to bring their services online.

The strategy cites a number of areas in which web applications will play a more significant role: entitlement cards; secure storage and sharing of citizen data; storage and sharing of property data; e-procurement and planning, to name but a few.

At CIVIC we’re enthusiastic about all these things: for the geeky types who work here it has always been more a question of when these developments will take place rather than if, and the pace of change has been frustratingly slow.

And what we’re seeing in Scotland’s new digital strategy is a tentative unfolding of the arms towards, if not quite a vigorous embrace of, open data standards – the idea that publicly accessible data held in robust and structured formats is something that can work for the public good, and help drive innovation in the economy.

And we feel that any attempt to open up data to consumption by third parties has some useful side effects too, like compelling data managers to consider security, long term management, and promote the adoption of rational, easy to understand data structures.

But while a move towards more online transactions is adopted in the strategy, the Scottish Government would appear to have no problem with the implication that there may be 32 local systems developed for the collection of council tax, or the payment of parking fines, or the reporting of minor crime. And that’s a bit odd, because there have been some notable achievements that have seen Local Authorities and government working well together, such as the www.tellmescotland.gov.uk site that delivers information public notices (things like planning and licensing applications) from across Scotland’s 32 local authorities.

Both as tax payers, and web developers we would expect to see a move towards simplification, automation and a reduction in duplication, but this principle is nowhere to be found in the strategy.

CIVIC is also concerned that there is no indictment of the monolithic ICT partnership agreements that have dogged the public sector for years, locking Local Authorities and government agencies into hyper-inflated costs charged by large technology corps. We would like to see more cost transparency on public sector ICT, and we believe this would open the way for more responsive, cost effective solutions form Scotland’s smaller IT firms.

It’s a kind of achievement to write 50 pages of a national Digital Strategy without once mentioning Open Source, and this is disappointing. Open Source – the ability to view and potentially adapt code which you have the right to use because it is either free or available through a license, should surely be a requirement for any Government that is seeking to be in charge of its own destiny.

It’s not just about freedom from corporate control either: the Open Source movement is happily aligned with volunteerism, community and citizenship, ideas which are bandied about a lot elsewhere in government, but not so much in this Digital Strategy.

CIVIC is an independent creative digital agency and has been delivering high profile digital and technical projects in the public and private sector since 2001. Few companies in Scotland today have CIVIC’s strength in combining technology and design into a functional solution. CIVIC’s unique blend of form, function, technology and design enables the agency to make great digital ideas work online. For more information, visit www.civicuk.com

CIVIC to refresh Scottish Government website

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

Digital communications agency CIVIC has been chosen to redesign Scotland.gov.uk, the Scottish Government’s corporate website.

The refresh will focus on bringing the homepage and news sections of Scotland.gov.uk up to date with current and emerging means of communicating using effective design and technology. The new design will help the Government to engage their audiences and encourage greater user participation and feedback. In particular CIVIC will utilise and promote the use of social media and video on the site to improve engagement with hard to reach demographics.

Greig Tosh, CIVIC’s Managing Director, says: “This is a great opportunity to cement Scotland.gov.uk’s reputation as a world class Government website, by creating the best possible user experience with our award winning design capabilities and the use of modern techniques grounded by our best practice principles.”

He adds, “We are delighted to be involved in this design project and believe that we have the right capability, experience and proven track record to deliver such a high profile project.”

Earlier this month, CIVIC announced that it had been appointed to the Central Government Centre of Procurement Expertise (“CGCoPE”) Framework for Provision of Applications, Web Development and Associated Services.

CIVIC is an independent creative digital agency and has been delivering high profile digital and technical projects in the public and private sector since 2001. Few companies in Scotland today have CIVIC’s strength in combining technology and design into a functional solution. CIVIC’s unique blend of form, function, technology and design enables the agency to make great digital ideas work online.

http://www.civicuk.com

David and Goliath working together

Friday, November 19th, 2010

Scottish Government’s commitment to small business and enabling small and medium enterprises (“SMEs”) in Scotland to compete for high value contracts was underlined with CIVIC’s appointment to a three year multi-supplier framework. A move that will allow CIVIC to compete on a level playing field with large multi-national organisations.

CIVIC, a Scottish company headquartered in Edinburgh, has been selected against some fierce competition from major European and International competitors to provide web applications and development for the Scottish Government, Associated Departments and Agencies to the Scottish Government and Non-Departmental Public Bodies (NDPBs) following its appointment to The Scottish Government Multi Supplier Framework for Provision of Applications, Web Development and Associated Services.

This news sees CIVIC taking the initiative and the lead role in bringing together a powerful consortium including leading business and technology service company, Logica, as well as other Scottish businesses User Vision, Rapid Mobile and Company Net. It is this diversity of resource, experience and skills that allows CIVIC to offer value for money and one of the most comprehensive and innovative portfolios of web development services available on the digital landscape today.

Polly Purvis of ScotlandIS, the trade body for software, IT and creative technology businesses in Scotland comments: “We are delighted that a Scottish SME like CIVIC has demonstrated the capability to make it through onto Government frameworks. The SME sector is where real innovation, creativity and ideas lie and it is critical small businesses are given the opportunity to compete for public sector work on the same basis as the industry’s multinationals. This news clearly shows how well respected CIVIC is to have been able to pull together such a powerful consortium and I am really pleased to see this dynamic mix of small businesses working alongside global companies.”

CIVIC is an independent creative digital agency and has been delivering high profile digital and technical projects in the public and private sector since 2001. Few companies in Scotland today have CIVIC’s strength in combining technology and design into a functional solution. This unique ability is also underpinned with the industry standard ISO9001 and ISO27001 accreditations, offering CIVICs’ clients the reassurance they need when delivering complex projects. This unique ability to integrate form and function has helped secure its place on this particular multi supplier framework.

Greig Tosh, CIVIC’s MD explains: “We are a company of creative people; made up of design, usability and technology experts. We understand clearly that websites and web applications not only have to function but have to engage and communicate with an increasingly diverse audience. Our blend of technology and design means we can make great digital ideas work online.”

“To be accepted onto this multi supplier framework alongside much larger companies is an extraordinary achievement and testament to the consistent standard of work the team at CIVIC delivers. I am extremely proud of CIVIC today and excited about what the future holds for us.”

A rigorous process of selection was conducted by the CGCoPE over a number of months to ensure that all the companies appointed to the multi supplier framework have the skills and experience as well as the resources to be able to deliver value for money projects during this time of budgetary constraints in the public sector.

Aiden Honley, Head of Logica’s Scottish Public Sector says: “Scotland has a proud history of innovation and it is widely recognised that the appropriate use of technology is one of the surest ways of increasing productivity, across all sectors of our economy. Much of Scotland’s most innovative thinking about the application of technology takes place within the SME market and we wanted to use our experience to help innovators deliver real benefits to Scotland. Logica is delighted to have been selected by CIVIC to work with them to deliver services to the Scottish Government through this multi supplier framework.”

www.civicuk.com

Volunteer Centre Edinburgh embraces the digital age with help from CIVIC

Friday, October 8th, 2010

Volunteering for people in Edinburgh came one step closer today with the launch of Volunteer Centre Edinburgh’s new interactive website designed by CIVIC.

The new website is an essential hub of information that enables those who want to volunteer to access information about the 600+ volunteering opportunities that are advertised in Edinburgh at any one time while increasing engagement with the public through digital media streaming and interactive features. The website is also filled with good practice guides, case studies and resources that will be of interest to people from all sectors.

The website has been developed by CIVIC, an independent creative digital communications agency with major experience in the public and private sector. Using “creative technology”, CIVIC blends design with cutting edge digital expertise in order to apply strategic branding thinking to websites with technical ability needed to make that thinking come to life.

Greig Tosh, Managing Director of CIVIC says “People are at the heart of Volunteer Centre Edinburgh so we’ve designed a site that brings members together through sharing, social media and the YouTube channel. We also enabled commenting on news stories to facilitate conversation with users”.

In 2009 Volunteer Centre Edinburgh had contact with 11,000 people who were given information and support to get involved in volunteering. There are hundreds of organisations that provide opportunities to volunteer in Edinburgh – including charities, schools, hospitals, the police and grass roots community organisations – and the volunteering sector is estimated to be worth over £90 million to Edinburgh’s economy and is ever increasing.

Paul Wilson, Depute Director of Volunteer Centre Edinburgh, says “People volunteer for a huge variety of reasons and many learn new valuable skills in return for giving their time and energy to volunteering. Since the recession we have see even more people come forward to volunteer, who are keen to develop personally and professionally whilst using their time to help out in their community.

“We’re incredibly pleased with the new website and the excellent work that CIVIC have done. We’ve already received excellent feedback from the public and from our peers. Our new website gives people a chance to become more integrated in the world of volunteering in Edinburgh by engaging in dialogue as well as accessing wide ranging information.

“Organisations that use volunteers now have resources at their fingertips to make it easier for them to develop new ways of involving volunteers in their work and making sure their organisation is a great place to volunteer.

To find out more information visit the new website at www.volunteeredinburgh.org.uk.

Roll up roll up for the greatest show in town

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

The techy carnival is coming to town with TechCrunch and its ‘digital power broker’ Mike Butcher, hooking up with Informatics Ventures for Engage | Invest | Exploit 10 in Edinburgh on 12 May 2010.

This is the first TechCrunch Europe UK event to be held outside of London and its programme has attracted a prestigious line up of speakers and a powerful delegate list of the great and good from Scotland’s tech community.

Informatics Ventures is based in Edinburgh University’s School of Informatics and Engage | Invest | Exploit 10 is its third annual showcase of the most promising, high-growth companies spun out of leading Scottish Universities.

This year’s event will be the biggest to date with an exhibition of 50 start-ups and spin-outs from bio tech, clean tech, social media, gaming and mobile all in one place and in one morning. EIE is Scotland’s biggest opportunity for Informatics entrepreneurs and investors to meet.

During the TechCrunch afternoon sessions, Skyscanner’s Lara Bayley will be presenting on “Why Scotland for Startups?”; followed by fast pitches from some early stage local startups. A panel of entrepreneurs with Adtaily, Onedrum and Cloudsoft will discuss linking Scotland to Europe.

Andrew Nutter looks at “How to turn on an investor”; Rapid Mobile will cover “Mobile innovation in Scotland and finally a panel of investors will discuss “Investing in Tech startups in and beyond Scotland.”

We’ve done a roll call of Hot Tin Roof clients who are attending and we are almost at a 100% hit rate with MoneyDashboard, FreeAgent Central, EdgeCase, Flexiant, Civic and Informatics Ventures (naturally) all signed up. And of course, there’s no show without punch, so we’ll be there too!

Don’t worry – if you haven’t got your tickets yet – it’s not too late – just click here.

Hot Tin Roof wins CIVIC approval

Friday, March 12th, 2010

Hot Tin Roof has been appointed to lead a national PR strategy for digital agency, CIVIC. This news follows a series of high profile wins in the IT sector including RMD Power and Cooling and Money Dashboard.

CIVIC is an independent creative digital communications agency with major experience in the public and private sector. CIVIC has been at the cutting edge of digital media since the agency’s creation in 2001 and boasts a talented and creative team with an impressive client base.

Hot Tin Roof will execute a dynamic campaign across traditional and digital media platforms. The campaign will be designed to help CIVIC increase its market share in the private sector and explore opportunities outside Scotland.

Sarah Lee, Hot Tin Roof Director comments: “Since launch our roots have always been in digital media, so it’s great to be associated with such a creative digital agency as CIVIC. CIVIC has pioneered the digital industry in Scotland for many years and we are extremely proud to be working with them.”

Using what it calls creative technology, CIVIC blends design with cutting edge digital technology in order to apply strategic brand thinking to websites with the technical ability needed to make that thinking come to life.

CIVIC’s MD, Greig Tosh, says: “Hot Tin Roof has a great reputation and we have worked together very successfully in the past on a number of projects.  Moving forward on a more strategic basis we are looking forward to seeing the impact Hot Tin Roof can have in raising awareness of CIVIC. I’m sure they will deliver a fantastic campaign and I know that our two companies will continue to work well together.”

For more information contact Lucy Smith.


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