On Wednesday October 17th 2012, our new digital service www.gov.uk moved out of public beta development to replace the two main government websites, Directgov and Business Link. It is the first major, full platform release from the Government Digital Service. This release heralds a new approach to digital delivery of public services in the UK. It is the start of a new approach to all things digital in central government.
Last Tuesday I wrote about how we identified the things users need from government online, and how that’s guided the building of GOV.UK. Today I’m going to tell you bit more about how that’s helped us ensure that GOV.UK meets the needs of businesses.
We’ve relied on a lot of software to help us build GOV.UK. From tracking the work we need to do in each sprint to managing the logs produced on our servers, we couldn’t build it without using tools that a lot of people have worked hard to make.
To acknowledge that, and to give a little insight into how we’re working, we’ve compiled a colophon listing all the software we’ve used (we did the same for the alpha and beta of GOV.UK). If we write about that software, we’ll update the colophon with relevant links so you can see how it all fits together.
So without further ado, follow this link to see the colophon for the launch of GOV.UK.
Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office, writes about the release of GOV.UK Read more
If you search for Directgov on Wikipedia, or ever happen to browse through our press releases, you’ll see a version of our history that’s based pretty much around landmark achievements and major events.
And that’s fine. We are one of the UK’s most-visited websites, after all (slightly larger than Tesco and smaller than Flickr, according to Alexa), and the biggest government site.
Since our launch in 2004, we’ve saved taxpayers lots of money and helped people find stuff more easily by incorporating the content of hundreds of other websites; answered the questions of six million visitors during the 2009 Swine Flu outbreak; and covered budgets, jubilees, and changes of government.
But it’s an alternative, quieter, sort of history I want to talk about here – one which has, I hope, done more than anything else to help pave the way for our colleagues in GOV.UK. Read more
Last week I talked about GOV.UK’s APIs and how we use them to build and monitor the site. Now it’s time to say a little more about what they mean for other developers who might want to use our content and data. Read more
Time for a quick look at some of the things we’ve been up to this week at GDS Read more
We talk a lot about Open Source at GDS. GOV.UK is built on open source software and, to a degree, built as open source software. It’s a topic we care passionately about because it helps us maintain our focus on user needs by helping us to quickly test and iterate software and systems. Read more
A couple of weeks ago we introduced you to the Hosting and Infrastructure team. Now it’s time to meet the Finance team.
A big thanks to Andy, Ezinne and Margaret. We’ll be busy with the release of GOV.UK over the next few weeks, but after that it’ll be the turn of the Procurement team.
From October the 17th GOV.UK will replace Directgov and Business Link as the best place to find government services and information, but what will that actually mean for people following links for these sites, or visiting bookmarked pages?