Changes are coming

We've been quieter than usual due to the Scottish Parliament's election period. However, the development team have been working hard in the background and we hope to share some changes with you in a couple of weeks.

So what have we been working on?

We will launch an improved Geography Explorer alongside an improved ability to see hierarchical relationships, such as which Data Zones are within a particular Council Areas. Soon you'll also be able to 'bulk add' these smaller geographies to the data cart with one click.

We've taken a lot of feedback on the Geography Explorer since we launched in February, which tended to cover issues like 'not being able to find the right Data Zone', and 'being unable to select more than one area with ease'.

We realised that a fair chunk of work was needed to fix this and the majority of our first development window is dedicated to making this work better. While we've made some initial improvements - that you'll see soon - we have a couple of bigger changes in the pipeline. These will include a new interactive map to select individual areas, which many of you have asked for.

We have also made a few performance tunings under the hood. We've worked out a few kinks to improve data retrieval and the search engine. You won't really 'see' many of these changes but we hope the journey through the site will be much smoother.

We'll continue to develop and test our functionality in a range of browsers from Internet Explorer to Google Chrome and Firefox but we can't guarantee that all functionality will work in older versions. Supporting old browsers is a lot of work and this would come at the expense of developing new features. And that's not something we want to do. Our site is designed to work well with mobile and tablet browsing too.

We suggest installing the latest version when prompted by your browser as this will ensure the best experience for you. We know that's not always possible in many organisations who operate a central IT policy. Please get in touch with us if you need any support or guidance with this.

We still want to review the content of the homepage and the help text that we provide. We'll start by putting together a few 'how to' blogs after we've launched the changes; we have a decent idea about what the common tasks are on the site, but let us know what yours are.

Also, please keep giving us feedback and let us know if you need any help using the site.