Change is Coming

For those of us working on the Aviva Development Zone, summer is normally a time for reflection as we share many of the routine jobs between the team to allow individuals a chance to take longer periods of leave and recharge their batteries before the autumn. It’s an opportunity to see how things work in areas that we may not normally be involved in, and a chance for many of the team to spend time to familiarise themselves with aspects of the product that they may not normally encounter.

This year has been rather different, and we’ve been able to take advantage of the changes in working patterns over the last few months to look at what we do in much more detail than we would be able to normally. As the autumn draws closer and business settles down to the “new normal”, we’re really excited to be able to start sharing some of the work that we’ve been doing this year to make the Development Zone platform even better.

At the end of August, the Development Zone will be undergoing routine maintenance work, and we’re using this opportunity to start rolling out some enhancements that we think will help all of our learners get more from the platform.

The biggest change that you’ll notice will be to the colours used on the platform, with a shift away from the bright white background on every page. One of our testers referred to the changes as being less like staring into the headlights, and more like shining a spotlight on what’s important.

We’re also going to adjust the layout of pages across the platform to maximise the space available for displaying content. This means that the banner at the top of the page is going to be slightly smaller, and that all of the notification and shortcut icons will be grouped together in a single area on the left of the screen, freeing up more space for the content.

Knowing where you are on the platform, and being able to navigate easily is essential, so we’re making the navigation breadcrumbs much more prominent, and keeping the same menu structure as before. We’re also keeping the same structures for the catalogue and for individual courses, so the new-look Development Zone should retain a familiar feel.

Feedback is really important to the Development Zone team, and we’ve been listening hard over the last few months and have developed a whole new range of support material to help you unlock the power of the platform – as an individual learner, as a supervisor, or as a T&C specialist. You’ll find this material in our DevZone Help Centre, accessed via the Support menu. Highlights include a refreshed set of Frequently Asked Questions, downloadable guides and help sheets covering key features – including the powerful “My Role” features – as well as a brand new DevZone Academy, providing detailed training on a range of features, tailored to the needs of individual roles.

We’re also improving the way that we communicate changes to our learners and are rolling out an optional “Updates” report for supervisors and firm admins. This report will be available on a monthly basis on a date of your choice (scheduled via your Reports dashboard), and will include information about any key changes to the platform, as well as a summary of the new courses added in the previous month.

More information about the changes coming to the Development Zone, and how they will affect your firm will be sent to supervisors and learners in the coming weeks.

About the author

After gaining a degree in Computer Science, Tim spent nine years teaching in a number of secondary schools (11-19 year olds) in Wales.  For the majority of his time teaching, Tim led a highly successful team of teachers delivering vocational ICT qualifications and reached the level of Associate Assistant Headteacher before leaving teaching.  He has also been a senior examiner and moderator for one of the UK's largest awarding bodies.  Since 2013 he has been the senior developer for the Development Zone.

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