GDS: We’re Not Quite Finished With GOV.UK

Mar 09, 2015

The Government Digital Service (GDS) has acknowledged that although huge progress has been made with the GOV.UK website, there is still more work to be done.

“We’re proud of GOV.UK and how much we’ve achieved in a short time, but an intended consequences of that pride might be that we sometimes give the impression we think GOV.UK is perfect,” claimed GDS product lead Neil Williams in a recent blog posting.

“The opposite is true. While GOV.UK has already made things better for lots of users, our ambition remains sky high.

“Far from patting ourselves on the back for a job well done we’re actively seeking out ways in which to improve what we’ve made and to build on the foundations of the single domain,” Williams added.

Built four years ago, the government’s website was created as a single platform for government publishing.

A Single Government Platform

All Whitehall Departments, agencies and arm’s length bodies were to move their singular websites onto the GOV.UK domain to create a simpler process for UK citizens.

As of December 2014, more than 300 organisations’ services and information had been moved to the platform.

“It was ambitious to make so big a change so fast, but moving at speed was the only way to do it – to minimise confusion for users and create the momentum to bring government organisations with us,” claimed Williams.

“We did a lot to understand users’ needs and join services and information up as we moved it all to GOV.UK but doing so properly only really becomes possible now we have everything in one place.

“That is one reason why we have always said GOV.UK isn’t finished and never will be,” he added.

Strong Focus On Listening To User Feedback

According to Williams, over the coming year GDS will be heavily focused on exposing feedback and performance metrics so the public can see how well its needs are being met.

As well as paying attention to what users are saying about the platform, the organisation will also be focusing on educating people about the potential of GOV.UK and ensuring no groups are excluded from using it.

“GOV.UK’s best feature is nothing we’ve built so far. It’s our commitment to continuous improvement,” claimed Williams.

“We release dozens of incremental improvements every day and talk about our work openly.

“GOV.UK is not finished now and it never will be – it’s a continual work in progress which will adapt and improve all the time to better serve the needs of all its users,” he concluded.


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