Copy for Citizens Advice

Ahmed* really needed to stop working. He’d been an upholsterer all his life but a cancer diagnosis two years ago meant that even part-time hours were exhausting him.

Our partners at Worthing Hospital put Ahmed in touch with Citizens Advice. After four months of waiting he’d still heard nothing about his application for Personal Independence Payments so he continued to work, which wasn’t good for his treatment.

Ahmed spoke with our adviser, Caitlin. She had to inform Ahmed that there was currently a six month wait for PIP applications. …


Short case with no quote for Citizens Advice

Milena* lives in a studio flat with her two young children. Not only is the accommodation too small for her needs, it’s so damp that the entire family have asthma.

Desperate to find better accommodation, Milena made requests to her Housing Association until she was eventually offered a bigger flat. Milena was delighted.

Upon viewing however, Milena noticed the all-too familiar signs of damp in the walls. She also spotted a pool of water under the boiler, broken door frames and general disrepair.

Milena faced an impossible decision. Refusing the flat could…


Short case with no quote for Citizens Advice

When Mark* left his job to care for his terminally ill wife, a whole new set of problems began. With diabetes, arthritis and mental health problems of his own, Mark struggled to cope with the emotional and financial pressures of caring.

Mark’s application for Personal Independence Payments was refused. He didn’t have the strength to deal with an appeals process so he gave up on the idea and the couple sank further into debt.

Eventually Mark was put in touch with Citizens Advice where our adviser, Julie, was able to offer support…


Copy for Affinity Digital website, April 2015 [original article]

Systems architecture wasn’t born with computers. It is comprised of techniques developed over thousands of years from disciplines such as manufacturing and construction.

It is a process that lends itself to designing any efficiently complex system, for example when Affinity builds an IT infrastructure for a business we may use an Enterprise Architecture.

Systems Architecture mostly describes how objects (called ‘systems’) are handled within a structure and how they interact to mutually support this framework. It involves taking multiple viewpoints of a system from different perspectives and circumstances, including socio-cognitive aspects…


Copy for Affinity Digital website, April 2015 [original article]

With online activity moving from our laptops to mobile devices, many of our clients need to decide the best way to communicate with their customers on mobile platforms.

Responsive Web Design (RWD) allows users to browse on their phones and tablets with ease, but developing a more mobile-specific offering requires a robust purpose-built platform. This will either involve building a mobile website or developing your own app.

In deciding between a responsive web design which may involve an overhaul or re-skin of your website or having a mobile application developed, there…


Copy for Affinity Digital website, April 2015 [original article]

The remit was to provide a platform for university staff to publish a wide range of projects in one central location. The site had to seamlessly support everything from full websites through to blogs, all managed by the same CMS.

University lecturers and support staff wanted to publish and edit content easily, while independent project owners needed to publish and maintain their areas within the ‘AIR’ portal. Almost all users were expected to be non-technical, so the CMS had to be intuitive. …


Copy for Affinity Digital website, April 2015 [original article]

The Agile project management system is based upon continuous developer and stakeholder input alongside regular live feedback which allows for improvements to be made at every stage of the process.

Designers and developers at Affinity need to react quickly and without hindrance to changing circumstances and client needs. Agile is a highly flexible system that allows for rapid, non-linear changes to a live project whilst keeping it firmly on deadline. …


Copy for Affinity Digital website, April 2015 [original article]

The Waterfall model of project management describes each phase of your project taking place chronologically, so that progress flows steadily downward like a waterfall.

Within this system, all requirement gathering and design is done during pre-contract operations by meeting our stakeholders on site, getting to know them and ensuring we thoroughly understand the project.

Waterfall is a time-tested system inherited from much older industries such as construction, where it was costly to go back and change something once it had been completed. …


Copy for Affinity Digital website, April 2015 [original article]

[image sourced by Jules Powis]

Desire Lines are the paths that most people will take, often in preference to a proscribed route.

Michigan State University didn’t put any paths on their lawns. They waited until little footpaths, or ‘desire lines’, had been worn away by footfall, and paved those. With such user feedback, MSU gained at once both the most efficient paths and the greenest lawns.

There could be no clearer illustration of a true ‘user journey’.


Copy for Affinity Digital website, April 2015 [original article]

A Content Management System (CMS) is software used for organising content on a website. It allows chosen staff to contribute, deploying approved templates quickly and easily to create great multimedia web content.

All our CMS architecture also allows for the formatting of content, lets staff control revisions and automatically index content as well as allowing for search and retrieval. Affinity became one of the early adopters of open source CMS offerings and have since become Drupal specialists as well as experts in several other platforms. Drupal is the PHP-based technology powering…

Jules Powis

I’ve written for BBC radio, science podcasts and video journalism plus online content for a wide range of clients in both the commercial and public sector.

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