How to use this site

About this website and how to use it

This is the 3rd version of the Prestwood Village Association website built in March/ April 2018 and launched at the beginning of May. The website is based on a content management system and is searchable.

The design philosophy for version 3 was to make the site much more mobile user friendly. Approximately 50% of our users access the site using Tablet or Smart Phones, so there are some aspects of the site that are aimed at that community.

Mobile device menu location

When you view this website on a mobile device (tablet, iPad, Android device, iPhone etc) it displays differently to how a desktop view works. It does this to make the user experience more efficient. However with any change there are some catches. Initial feedback has indicated that people think the menu has disappeared. It has not, it has collapsed to an icon at the top of the page. View the image below.

The image shows a mobile phone view of the home page. In the green section right at the top of the page in the right corner is an orange icon often referred to as the Hamburger Icon because it resembles a hamburger. It is commonly used to indicate that a shortcut to the menu. If you click/ touch it, it will expand to expose a vertical menu. You use this to navigate around the website. This is not a feature unique to this website, you will see this on a lot of websites that are optimised for mobile users.

Responsive Design

The website has three different layouts depending on the width of the viewing device. These are desktop or laptop (wide screen), tablet and smartphone. Depending which device you are using the layout will change, some things may disappear altogether for small screen devices. Columns that were side by side on a desktop will appear in a single column on a phone. At all times we anticipate the site will be easy to read and navigate.

Menu Systems

There are three menus on this website. The primary or main menu is at the top of the site in a desktop view on a green background. Above this on a desktop is a secondary menu that is on an orange background. This may change from time to time to alert you to new content on the site. There is a third menu in the footer area of the site that is largely for administrative purposes.

Launch Pages

The home page and many of the top level pages in the menu are Launch pages. They contain very little text, so there is not a lot to read, the pages often include images or icons and a title to help you to navigate to a page of interest. You can either click on the title, the image or the icon to move to the next level. Here is an example of a launch page for the calendar. (opens in a new window, close it to return to here).

Accordions and collapsible sections

To help moblile users we have collapsed some areas of text so you do not have to read all of the detail, you can scan the titles and click on a title to see the detail. You can see an example of an Accordion on this page. (Opens in a new window, close it to return to here).

Nested organisation

Related sections go down several levels. As you work down a particular path you should be able to work back up as well. Buttons and links are available to help you to navigate back.

Integrated help

On some pages where we are introducing some new web features we have added a link at the top called Help Me. If you click on this link it will go to the bottom of the page where there is a collapsible help box which will explain how to use the page. We have opted to put the guidance text at the bottom rather than the top to reduce the amount of text you need to read. The help sections are always in orange boxes on a pale cream background.

Continuous improvement

We realise that we have introduced a lot of new things here, we want to get it right. If you can see improvements that could be made to the website please use our contact us form to let know. We need to know where you have seen the problem (page and location within the page), your description of the problem and any ideas you have to make it easier for people to use the site.

We may not get around to it straight away, but we will welcome all feedback if it helps to improve the user experience and usability of the website.

Background section colour

To help visually indicate that a new section is starting which may normally be associated with a new subject area, the background colour of the section will subtly change. This means we do not need to put horizontal lines across the page. The section background for this paragraph and others in this part of the page show a pale grey vs white background.

Shortcut buttons links and icons

Mainly for the benefit of small screen devices we have included buttons in places, and links in other places for mobile users to jump to the top of a page, or jump up to the previous level. Pages also have dots on the right hand side of the screen to help you quickly navigate through sections on the site. If you are right down the bottom of the site there is an icon to help you to quickly move to the top.

News and FIltered News

Unlike the former site we can have multiple views of the news on the site. This is one of the most popular areas, so we thought it would be useful to show news based on themes. Firstly there is the ALL News page which is basically the same as the former news page. You can see it here (opens in a new window so you can return to this page).  But it is also possible to filter the news and only show news items that are in some way related to Local Government. An example filtered news page on Local Government can be found here. (Opens in a new window so you can return to this page.) In the second example all other news is filtered out. We can filter on the various categories used in this site. If there is a category grouping you would like to see let us know.

Making Comments

On many of the news items we allow the community to make a comment if they wish. We moderate all comments, so nothing is visible until an editor has checked it. If the comment is “on topic” and not defamatory, or dismissive of other people who have commented then we will generally allow it go up on the website. We expect people to remain polite at all times. If they are not then the item will not be published.

Comments are a useful way of establishing public opinion for some areas. We have helped to promote interest groups where a few people have commented on a subject area, and helped these groups to establish themselves as an active group in the community.

Prestwood Village Association as a committee is neutral on all areas, we try to remain factual and report on information provided to us.

Do we know who you are?

If you are making a comment on the website we can see a user name and an email address. Both could be fictitious. Your email address is not published, but we know what it is, or at least what you entered into the form. If we think you are trying to hide behind an alias, we may choose not to publish your comment. We can also see the IP address of the internet connection you are using, if we consider this is not local, we may also moderate the entry.  The service is offered in good faith as a way of getting the community to express its views.

How big is the website?

At the May 2018 launch of this version of the site there were around 50 pages in the site, 430 news items, 340 comments from the community, and 1740 events in the calendar. We also have 1000 images and documents in the website. Not all of it is immediately obvious but you can perform searches on the site and locate pages and content that match your search terms, so if you cannot find what you are looking for do a site search using some words to describe what you are looking for.

Searching the Site

Please use the magnifying icon on the right of the menu, or go to the home page where there is a search box. Or use one of the boxes below. The top one will only search the news items on the site, the one below that will search everywhere else apart from the news items.

How often do we delete things?

We review the website news around every 3 months. We will generally keep at least a year’s worth of content. If there is anything that may be important we will leave it on the site. Many of the hot topics are fairly cold now. We will review this area to see how many people visit it, and if we think it is no longer relevant we will remove some of them if there is no interest.

Some things around the local plan, DDPD and various other acronyms have been retained for historical reasons. We did a lot of research and helped to filter out the important topics for Prestwood. There are some themes that keep coming back under different names, so we have for now retained a historical record.

How often is the site visited?

We average around 2500 visits per month which is pretty good for a small village in Buckinghamshire. We also have over 900 subscribers to the website. These are people who have subscribed to a mailing list and shared their email address, postal code and names. We send out a newsletter each month to our subscribers with a round up of the news for the month. The most popular pages are the news page, the community directory and the calendar.

 

Newsletter

If you wish to sign up to the mailing list you can do so by going to this page (opens in a new window) and filling in your email address and other details. This will generate an email which you need to respond to in order to complete the process. Once subscribed you can unsubscribe yourself at any time. Nobody will add you to the list manually. It is all driven on a self subscribed basis. We value your privacy. The information you submit to us will not be used for any other purpose than sending you our newsletter.