Check out our latest websites!

As we continue to work with some of our long-term partners to redesign and rebuild their websites on our latest wireframe, we wanted to share with you, two of our latest websites for inspiration!

Trafford Council’s brand-new Local Offer is now live: Trafford SEND Local Offer

Also, Oxfordshire County Council has refreshed their entire directory, which you can view here: Oxfordshire Directory

Happy browsing!

Customers success at the 2022 NAFIS Awards

Reading Borough Council wins Best Community Engagement, for its SEND Local Offer and Family Information Services (FIS) websites (delivered on behalf of Brighter Futures for Children), and Islington Council is awarded Best Directory for its refreshed Family Directory

The NAFIS Awards (National Association of Family Information Services) recognise and celebrate local authority achievements and transformative services delivered across the country in supporting families to access vital services and information. The awards enable FIS to share experiences and learn from one another about how to continually improve these essential services.

Idox is proud to support its local authority customers with our Directory platform, a market-leading solution that creates a fully-accessible SEND Local Offer, curates the best childcare information for families, and delivers critical information and advice to adults with social care needs. This, and our SEND EHC Hub, are already helping over 100 local authorities across England to deliver effective services across social care and SEND.

At the 2022 NAFIS Awards, Reading Borough Council was awarded Best Community Engagement for its SEND Local Offer and FIS websites (delivered on behalf of Brighter Futures for Children). This marks the second consecutive year that the Council has won at the NAFIS Awards, having taken home the award for Best Local Offer in 2021.

Community engagement is at the heart of Reading Borough Council’s strategy for delivering a high-quality information service, collaborating with local services to meet family needs. Developed in consultation with parents, carers, young people, and voluntary and statutory services, the Directory platform delivers vital information about services available to families, children, and young people within the local area. With more than 3,000 records in its FIS and Local Offer directory, local services work closely with the Council, ensuring information is accurate and up to date for the community to access.

Islington Council has won the award for Best Directory at the 2022 Awards. Family Directories provide high-quality local information, advice and guidance that support young people, adults, families, and carers to find the information and support they need when they need it.

The Council launched a refreshed Directory in the summer of 2022, creating a new look and feel and identity for the Islington Directory – Find Your Islington. Islington Council worked collaboratively with parent champions, residents, and voluntary sectors to ensure the new refreshed Directory met their needs. Idox was proud to support the Council throughout this project. Local families, many of whom are accessing the Local Offer and FIS websites on mobile phones, have already commented on how they appreciate the more modern, brighter layout and design, as well as easy to use navigation and compatibility with mobile devices.

It was the hard work and dedication to transforming this high-quality information service that has been recognised in this award.

Idox congratulates all the nominees and winners at this year’s NAFIS awards. We look forward to continuing our collaborative partnership with customers as they transform their FIS directories to deliver exceptional support to their communities.

25th January 2023 : Start for Life Workshop

Directory Platform Focus Group: Start for Life Channel

This is a workshop to bring customers together to look at requirements, gather ideas and establish whether, through a collaborative approach, Idox can develop a blueprint for a Start for Life directory channel

More details and registration are on our website. Click here to sign up

January 12th 2023 : UK Open Referral API Workshop

This is a workshop for customers to better understand your requirements for sharing your Directory’s data with third party systems/ suppliers such as Social Prescribing platforms

More details and registration are on our website. Click here to sign up 

Browse our latest Directory Websites

Thank you all who attended our Virtual Customer Forum last week. It was great to see so many familiar faces.  

We hope that you enjoyed seeing what we’ve been up to in partnership with our customers. Here is a list of our latest customer websites for you to explore further:

Virtual Customer Forum

We are inviting our customers to come together to discuss all things Directory! In this session, we will present our platform development roadmap for 2023, including the results of our research to enhance the platform’s search function.

We are also keen to showcase some of the great new websites that we’ve been collaborating with our customers on. 

The session will be held virtually through Microsoft Teams, on Thursday November 24th at 10am.

Registration is now open on our website through the following link:

Following registration, we will send an invite with joining instructions.

If there is any specific topic or area that you would like to see included on the agenda, please do not hesitate to contact

We hope that you can join us.

Headings Are Important

Search engines use the headings within each page to index the structure and content of your web pages.

Users often skim a page by its headings, and screen reader software usually generates a navigable list for each page, using its headings. It is therefore very important to use meaningful headings to show the page structure.

Some sites will have hidden section headings. If a design excludes meaningful headings, we will routinely add in “hidden” headings as we build each new site. These hidden headings are then used by screen reader software, to generate its list for the blind user.

An <h1> heading is only used for each page’s main heading. Every major section of a page should be labelled by <h2> headings, then the less important <h3>, and so on as necessary, potentially all the way down to <h6>.

Headings are invariably relatively sized – to generate visual cues for their relative hierarchy. They are not a styling tool!

If you want some prominent text in the middle of your editable content, using a heading to achieve this will BREAK ACCESSIBILITY on that page. You can toggle your WYSIWYG field editor into ‘HTML’ mode and then add style attributes, like style="font-size: 2em" and that will not affect the accessibility in any way: styling adds no semantic meaning to the mark-up and is only for sighted users anyway.

Planned enhancements to Media Manager

We are currently planning enhancements to the Directory Platform’s Media Manager as part of next year’s roadmap, and we’ll be sharing the details of this with customers soon.

In the meantime, we have created a quick user guide of how the Media Manager app currently works as a reference for customers. Over the coming months, we will also be creating other new quick guides to support customers to get the most from the Directory platform.

To access the document please log on to our Hornbill Support Portal > My Services > DirectoryHubs > Documents Tab

Directory Change Requests

As part of a series of improvements that we are making to better support our Directory customers, we are introducing a new dedicated resource to facilitate Directory website change requests. We hope that, over the coming months, that you will see a significant improvement in the timeliness of our responses to these.

As we introduce this new resource, we are currently undertaking a full review of existing change requests and are asking some customers to confirm that some of their change requests are still valid/ required. This may be due to the age of the ticket or because you are currently engaged with us in a website refresh project.

This is important as we would not wish to implement change requests that have since been superseded by more recent changes that may have been made to your website or a current refresh project. We will be asking you to confirm if the change request is still required on our Hornbill support portal, so please look out for the messages over the coming week.

Our latest Directory refresh goes live!

This week, Islington Council went live with their brand-new multi-channel directory website.

Built on our latest wireframe, the website’s unique design is a great example of how their strong brand, fyi, brings together multiple channels of information, advice, and guidance for a clear and cohesive user journey.

Check it out here:

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