Launched on 17 October 2012, GOV.UK has just celebrated 6 months of being live. In that time it’s received 188 million visits and 546 million pageviews; and over 9 million searches have been made on the site.
But what was the busiest day in those 6 months? Well, it depends on what you measure.
Today, the offices of the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister join every ministerial department on the Inside Government section of GOV.UK. Anthony Simon, Downing Street’s head of digital communications explains more.
If you’re familiar with the format of ministerial departments in their new online home on Inside Government, then you’ll probably notice some differences in the way that content for the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister is presented.
Number 10 performs a vital role in communicating news and information about the activity of the Prime Minister, which needs to be reflected online. But it must also acknowledge the rich history of 10 Downing Street, which boasts 275 years as the official residence of each of the UK’s 53 Prime Ministers.
Today marks the return of our occasional series of videos introducing GDS teams. So far, we’ve introduced the Transformation team, the Finance team and the Hosting and Infrastructure team, and shone the Spotlight on procurement. Now we’d like to give you a quick look at the work of the GDS User research team.
Highlights: This week we visited the DVLA in Swansea, went to their executive board and met the team working on 1 of the 23 exemplar transactions which are being redesigned to meet the digital by default service standard. DfE (Department for Education) and HMT (Her Majesty’s Treasury) became numbers 22 and 23 out of the 24 central government departments moving to GOV.UK. We also visited the House of Lords to explain the changes to the identity scheme. Next week we move the 24th and final department site to GOV.UK, and there will be a special announcement mid week so keep your eyes on this blog… Read more
This week we welcome the Department for Education and HM Treasury to GOV.UK.
Launch of Department for Education
DfE is the 22nd department to move to the Inside Government section of GOV.UK. The department joins Inside Government with 1,546 publications, 579 news articles, 120 speeches and 15 policies.
With DfE, we have released a new document type, called ‘authored articles’. These are articles published by ministers or officials in the media (for example, Michael Gove’s article in ‘The Daily Telegraph’ about reading). Although this was released to coincide with DfE’s transition, it is something we have long been intending to do and we expect most departments to use it.
One of the updates we’ve made to the Government Service Design Manual is to add video case studies. Video has been one of the best methods we’ve found for quickly and candidly sharing what it’s like to work on a digital service.
Most of them take the form of short interviews with staff from GDS (and beyond) about what it is they do, like this one from Sarah Richards about the purpose of an Alpha…
I wanted to explain more about why we chose to add these videos to the manual.
Last Friday Rebecca Kemp, Joshua Marshall and I visited the opening of the ‘Design that Makes a Difference’ exhibition at the Royal College of Art. Josh is our accessibility lead and Rebecca leads the Assisted Digital programme. Organised as a collaboration between the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design and the Norwegian government, the exhibition is about “inclusive design” and “showcases 20 leading projects from the UK and Norway that demonstrate the benefits of people-centred design thinking”.
The first thing you see when you walk into GDS is the 7 main messages which guided the build of the GOV.UK alpha. Visitors to GDS often scribble them down, and like our Design Principles they help provide a shared language for people inside and outside government.
They’re also really useful points to keep in mind as we build a community around the exemplar services and the new service manual.
Highlights – this week marks 6 months of GOV.UK, with some great statistics including 187 million visits to the site and 546 million page views since launch. We were really pleased this week to be chosen by the Design Museum as their Design of the Year 2013 – not just for the team in GDS, but for all the departments who’ve been supporting work on GOV.UK. The Digital by Default Service Manual was also launched this week; we’d love your feedback – get in touch through the site. And another big departmental move to Inside Government, with DWP’s corporate content coming over.
Next week sees two more departments moving over: Treasury and Education, and we’re also holding the monthly meeting of departmental Digital Leaders. On the agenda are a presentation from Tim Brooks, from our Digital Advisory Board, and a look at training for service managers. We’ve also got some international visitors, including ministers from Indonesia and South Africa.
(Full transcript below)
The Government Digital Service started out as a small group of people with experience building and running large online services. Since then we’ve grown the team, added lots of smart people, and talked to even more experts from other organisations. The Government Service Design Manual is an attempt to bottle that collective wisdom, with the aim of improving public services and making sure they meet the Digital by Default Service Standard.
So how did we write and review more than 286 (at the time of writing) items of guidance?