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Agile isn’t just for software development. In this issue, we talk about how communications products can be experimented with, tested, and continuously iterated on too!

Speaking of testing: êtes-vous francophone?
On a besoin de vous!

Notre équipe travaille présentement à l’amélioration de l’infolettre française du Service numérique canadien. Nous aimerions rendre notre contenu plus intéressant et utile pour vous. 

Nous vous invitons à répondre à un sondage d'une question. Vos réponses resteront anonymes, et nous nous en servirons pour éclairer nos décisions de rédaction.
Si vous ne réussissez pas à y accéder, n’hésitez pas à nous écrire.
A mobile phone and laptop with a screen that reads, "Send service updates and messages over email and SMS".

Introducing Notify

Reduce time spent on building from scratch. 
Reuse good ideas. 
Recycle code. 

Why? Because not reinventing the wheel saves everyone time and money. 

Using open-source code from the UK government as our starting point, our team built a service that lets departments send emails and text messages to the people who use their services. 

Read the blog to learn more. If you’re a federal public servant, set up a free account and test it out!

A girl daydreaming about books and writing.

How communications and data can live happily ever after

In the world of communications, there’s a lot of grey-area. Making decisions with all that uncertainty is hard. But we can make more informed and evidence-based decisions when we turn to the power of data. 

This blog shares a snapshot of how our team uses data to research, test, iterate on, and improve our monthly newsletter; helping to make communications a little more black and white.

4 people running on a track.

How running an AMA in government was like running a relay race

Ways to communicate are changing, and trying new things in order to keep up can be near-impossible if you do it alone. When the CDS Outreach team tried doing a live Ask Me Anything (AMA) on Twitter in both official languages, they learned that turning new ideas into reality became easier with a team of people all running towards the same finish line.

GIF of a hand waving, with text that reads "hello" in different languages.

Quick tips: How to make your tweets accessible

Alternative text, or alt text, describes visuals in words to make them accessible to people who are blind or visually impaired. Here is how you can make your tweets more accessible by using alt text:

1. Enable image descriptions 

  1. Under “Settings and privacy”, go to “Accessibility”

  2. Turn on “Compose image descriptions”

2. Add descriptions to images

  1. Once you’ve added an image to a tweet, click “Add description”

  2. Put in your alt text, and click “Done”

3. Make GIFs accessible

  1. While Twitter doesn’t have a feature like the above to add alt text to GIFS, you can make them accessible by [Annotating a description of the GIF in square brackets].

In the community:

Supercharge Your Career in the Canadian Public Service
December 17, Online

OneTeamGov Ottawa Unconference
December 17, Ottawa

How to be digital in the Canadian public service
January 2020, Online

Digital Executive Leadership Program 
January 27-31, Ottawa

Public Sector Innovation 2020 (PSIS)
February 25, Ottawa

Code for Canada Summit
March 10-11, Toronto

Work with us!

We're looking for Senior Developers and a Technical Writer.  If you think one of these could be you, apply to join the team.

CDS Website
CDS Twitter Account
CDS LinkedIn Page
CDS GitHub Repo
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Canadian Digital Service · Government of Canada · 219 Laurier Ave W · Ottawa, ON K1P 5J6 · Canada