Government Digital Service says GOV.UK app a “programme priority” for delivery

A blog article published on the Government Data Service’s (GDS) website on 6 June revealed that it has big plans for “user experience” improvements for GOV.UK over the next few years.

Some of the priories outlined include to develop a GOV.UK app, explore the introduction of emerging technologies, create additional types of content and expand video, as well to improve user journeys.

It stated: “GOV.UK is an integral part of our national infrastructure. Millions of people visit daily for everything from registering a death to paying their taxes. But, we know GOV.UK can do more – and must do more – for its users. This is why we have growth at the heart of our plans. We want to grow our product offer, grow our user base, and grow our team.”

10-years since first launch, the GOV.UK webpages have attracted more than 28billion views. For initiatives, engagement has also tended to be high, with the “Brexit Checker” business advice service being used 5.6million times before it was retired, and “a postcode checker, which allowed people to find lockdown rules in their area”, receiving 32 million unique page views.

“These case studies show that by providing a more proactive, interactive and relevant GOV.UK user experience, we can help people to get the right support from government, and help government to communicate and deliver services to people.”

According to the blog post, the aims for the GOV.UK service are to be more proactive in helping people access the right information when they need it, and to “evolve to match user expectations for new technologies”.

For the next year or so, the programmes priorities are as follows:

  • to develop a GOV.UK app
  • to explore whether emerging technologies can help users when interacting with GOV.UK, for example in finding information more easily
  • to develop existing presence on social channels such as YouTube
  • to create new content types and expand use of formats like video
  • to update homepage and site search features
  • to improve user experience and targeted journeys
  • to evolve content operating model
  • to reduce the complexity of publishing tools
  • to expand and update GOV.UK brand guidelines

“GDS is adopting a new, ambitious and exciting direction for GOV.UK, and we know it will be challenging to deliver, but it’s what government needs and what users expect.”

The blog notes the need to continue partnering with cross-government stakeholders in delivering the strategy: “And, looking across government, it’s only through partnerships with departments that we’re able to provide a consistent and high-quality user experience on GOV.UK, so we’ve created this strategy by engaging with cross-government stakeholders and will continue to partner with them every step of the way.”

To read the blog post in full, please click here.