Thinking Outside the Box

‘Thinking outside of the box’ is one of my all-time most hated management clichés but is probably the best summary of the changes coming to the Aviva Development Zone at the end of August. We’ve taken the opportunity to reflect on what’s important on the platform over the last few months, and have put together a fresh new appearance for the platform that aims to keep the best of the current structure and add a new twist, taking away the white “box” that has restricted the size of content before.

The biggest change that you’ll notice when the update happens will be the change from a dazzling white background across the platform to a grey background. This should help you focus on the content more easily and should help improve contrast for many of the buttons and icons used across the platform. (Those of you who are night owls and like to do their learning later in the evening may also find that the reduction in blue light levels helps you ‘switch off’ a bit quicker afterwards too!)

The banner at the top of the page will be slightly smaller than before, allowing us to free up a bit of extra space for the content, which along with moving all of the shortcut icons to a single notification tray on the left of the screen, will also enable us to scale up the size of course content, making it easier to read on many devices.

Your profile card will still be displayed at the top of every page, giving your name and the name of your firm, but additional details about you will now move to a profile icon on the left of every page.  If you’ve uploaded a profile image (via My Settings on the My DevZone menu), it will now be used as your profile icon at the top of the icons on the left of every page.

The main structure of the platform is exactly the same as before, and we’re not making any changes to the data that you record, including any activity records and CPD records. We’re making a couple of minor changes to the menus at the top of pages though to make things a little simpler.

The ‘log out’ link will move to the main menu bar (rather than being at the bottom of the My DevZone menu), making it easier to find. For security, we always recommend that you log out when you’ve finished using the platform – this helps us keep your CPD records safe and helps prevent other people using your account.

We’ve also made the navigation bar – the little breadcrumbs that show where you are on the platform – much bolder and brighter in the updated version, making it easier than before to see exactly where you are and to jump back to course pages. We’ve also moved the ‘Home’ link from the main menu bar to the start of the navigation bar for every page.

We understand that any changes can be disruptive, so we’re carrying out the update work over the August Bank Holiday weekend to minimise the impact on your business and ensure that any custom branding is updated ready for your return to work after the long weekend on 1st September

We’re also taking the opportunity to launch our exciting new DevZone Academy as part of the update, containing over thirty training topics related to the Development Zone itself, as well as a range of refreshed help material in our DevZone Help Centre. The Academy will be available to all learners and will cover a diverse range of topics from recording CPD effectively and navigating the platform to creating custom content. 

The Academy topics will also showcase what can be done using our brand-new Storyteller custom content format – allowing you to create scrollable training topics and take your training… you guessed it… ‘outside of the box’!

If you have any queries regarding the update, please get in touch with the Aviva Development Zone team via

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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