Helping Brits abroad, supporting charities and a website redesign: CYB’s favourite projects of 2022
With everyone at Caution Your Blast Ltd (CYB) incredibly busy working on projects right up until the Christmas break, it’s only now that we’ve had a moment to reflect on an enjoyable, challenging and fruitful 2022 for the company. Before 2022 fades from view, four of our team choose their favourite projects from the last 12 months.
Tom, Senior Product Manager – Find a Professional Abroad online service (GOV.UK)
Last year it was fantastic to really help British nationals abroad and Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) staff at consulates around the world with the new Find a Professional Abroad service. We designed the service to meet the specific user needs - namely around easily finding a professional who is 1) near to you wherever you are in the world and 2) provides the services you require (lawyers, funeral directors, translators and interpreters), rather than providing an unordered list. To our delight, it proved much more useful to British nationals than the rather random way users had to search before (which was often confusing and ineffective). Staff at consulates have been singing our praises in not having to deal with email and spreadsheet hell to manage and update the lists – we’re glad to say we’ve made some friends!
Anna, Service Designer – Emergency Travel Document online service (GOV.UK)
Two months ago, I started working on a project with the FCDO to help develop and redesign the Emergency Travel Document (ETD) online service. ETDs are available to British nationals who have lost or don’t have a valid passport but need to travel in an emergency, such as the funeral of a loved one – a very important service to work on! As you can imagine, there are thousands of applicants each year (there are many ways to lose a passport!) which requires large teams based in Singapore, Mexico and Madrid, as well as local consular staff, to manage applications and distribute the ETDs (the idea is to reduce their workload by making the online service clearer and more efficient). It’s an exciting project with many obstacles to overcome - given the global nature of the service and the country-specific differences, it can be difficult to provide clear, transparent and tailored information to users based on their circumstances. But like everyone at CYB, I love collaborating, and it’s been fantastic working with such an energised and enthused team made up of FCDO staff on the ground, developers, performance analysts, user researchers and designers, all passionate about making the service work better for those who need it. As we move forward with the project, I’m looking forward to exploring ways we can make a more seamless and transparent user experience and efficient service that helps people travel with ease in times of crisis.
Max, Founder and Director of Software Engineering – Give A Little’s new technologies
The best thing about working on our point of donation software platform Give A Little is the feedback - good or bad, it's a direct connection to the impact we're having and an opportunity to learn and improve (ourselves as well as the service!). Being a techie, I also love that we're playing on the cutting edge of what's possible. Over 2022 we explored and implemented Pay by Bank (Open Banking) and Tap on Mobile, both new technologies that will help our fundraisers accept donations in the most effective and cheapest ways possible. More importantly, though, we helped raise more money last year than in all of the previous years we've operated combined (almost £8 million!) and supported more than 2000 of our smaller fundraisers with a free service. It’s a great feeling to be helping people who really need it.
Shaun, Head of Content – CYB’s website redesign
There were plenty of enjoyable content challenges for CYB in 2022 – from our work across various projects with the FCDO (especially around document legalisation service e-Apostille, a particularly tricky concept to explain) to improving our internal guidance with regards to our external communications (more exciting than it sounds, honest!). But for me personally, the most rewarding project of all was the redesign of our company website, which was a huge undertaking both in terms of design (led by our brilliant visual designer Georgia) but also content – getting across who we are, what we do and why we do it in a succinct yet easy to understand manner took plenty of thought and consultation, and more than a few redrafts. Honing our voice and tone, the content coalesces around our mantra of “Using Digital as a Force for Good”, and showcases CYB’s values, as well as promoting our good work. I’m delighted with how it looks (from colour scheme to layout) and the way it reads – we’ve had some excellent feedback, and, coupled with some insightful, engaging blog posts, have seen a big increase in visitors. Though my favourite part has to be the way we presented the definition of what we mean by ‘good’ as a dictionary entry (which is rather snazzy if I do say so myself!).