Earlier this week the the final ministerial department joined GOV.UK. This isn’t the end of the GOV.UK story; in fact it’s barely the end of the beginning. But today is still a big moment, the result of commitment and collaboration from hundreds of civil servants all across government.
So to mark the occasion I thought I’d gather up and share some historical artifacts; some sketches, diagrams, lists, photos,and screengrabs that chart the evolution of GOV.UK from a crisp recommendation for a ‘single domain for government’ in Martha Lane Fox’s November 2010 report, through to today’s award-winning reality.
University of Salford student Andrew Langhorn recently got in touch with us to chat about his dissertation on the UK government’s approach to digital. We asked him to write a few words about what it’s like to study a live service like GOV.UK.
Along with ‘we’re out of beer’, ‘9am lectures’ and a handful of other equally worrying phrases, the word ‘dissertation’ strikes fear into the hearts of many university students each year. In the past the concept of ‘online service delivery’ probably sparked a similar fear in the heart of many governments. I set out to try to tackle both simultaneously, by writing my dissertation on digital government in the UK. Read more
A few relatively quiet weeks have been building up to a busy five days at GDS. More releases, an office reshuffle and some special guests all combined to make sure we don’t go quiet in the run-up to Christmas. Read more
Earlier this year James Weiner and Ben Welby wrote about the browsers and devices that we are supporting on GOV.UK. We made these decisions using browser/device data from various sources including Directgov, BusinessLink, central government departments and several other big sites.
Now that GOV.UK has been getting real traffic for a while, we are starting to gather our own usage data. I wanted to share quick snapshot of the data so far. The figures we’ve collected aren’t much different from what we expected before launch.
The aim of GOV.UK is to bring all government information and services into one place – that is why we are looking to transition over all our websites onto GOV.UK by April 2014.
However, there were always going to be exceptions to that rule. We wanted to tell you more about why we’ve made them. Read more
The department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has been working with GDS since before GDS existed to help get department websites ready for the move to GOV.UK. John Turnbull from BIS explains what it’s been like to see the project evolve.
I’ve worked on quite a few web projects in the classic project management style. In these the focus was very much on the process and the specification, rather than the product; you’d have to specify so much, and in such detail, that it often took a very long time for anything to get built. But in the last year, BIS has been working with GDS in a very different way. Read more
Following a busy few weeks here at GDS, some staff holidays and a few winter colds have left the office feeling a little bit quieter than usual. Read more
The search engine optimisation landscape is changing. As I have blogged previously, we are doing our best to make sure we use the same search terms as our users to make content easier to find. Now that Directgov and Business Link are no more, and GOV.UK has shaken off its beta-warning shackles, it’s time to see if we’ve achieved this.
Policy, publications and announcements are moving to GOV.UK
Jeremy Heywood, Cabinet Secretary, writes about the release of Inside Government.
When a user sent a tweet about a possible improvement on GOV.UK, it became a great example of how quickly an agile team can respond to feedback. Chris Heathcote from the GDS design team explains how size doesn’t necessarily mean slowing of processes.