The information in this blogpost may now be out of date. See the current GOV.UK content and publishing guidance.
We’d like to bring a bit more consistency and user focus to the links in the top right-hand corner of organisation homepages.
During transition, these links were sometimes described as ‘mainstream’ links - but in practice, they were used to highlight any number of destinations.
We're now calling them 'top task' links. Their purpose should be to help users jump off to the top tasks they associate with that organisation, if these tasks are not featured elsewhere on the page. This page gives guidance on how they should be used.
We’ll be checking organisation pages across the site during the week beginning 19 August, with a view to making sure everyone’s going in the right direction.
In the meantime, please give us a shout if you have any concerns.
Base top tasks around evidence of usage
Top task links must be used sparingly - and only retained if there is significant evidence that people are following them.
As a guide, each top task link should be followed by no fewer than 2% of total visitors to your homepage (measured in total unique pageviews). This works out at 1,000 - 2,000 clicks per month for a typical department.
A top task link should be followed by at least 2% of your homepage visitors
We understand that getting the right set of links will involve some trial and error. However, as a guide to user need, we’ve documented two months’-worth of search terms from each department homepage.
What can go in the top tasks area
Top tasks that users associate with your organisation
These are the main things you have evidence that users come to your homepage to do, but which aren’t covered by existing content types on organisation homepages.
Links should point either to GOV.UK mainstream content; or information or tools on other domains. The text of the link must be as specific and active as possible, and not overlap with titles used for ‘corporate’ content types.
Link text should be in the form of a call to action
Good examples of link naming:
Examples of links which would need to be renamed:
'Jobs’ should be renamed, ‘Search for a job’ (DWP)
‘Regional advisors’ should be renamed, ‘Find a regional advisor’ (UKEF)
Substantial sources of information outside GOV.UK
In a handful of cases, users come to an organisation homepage looking to access a set of information that’s not on GOV.UK. In cases like this, it's OK to use the top task links to hive off this audience to the alternative destination, providing there is evidence of user demand.
Examples could include MOD's links to the army, navy and airforce sites.
What shouldn't go in the top tasks area
Destinations which are already covered by homepage content types
You shouldn’t put anything in the top tasks list that’s already covered by a link on your organisation’s homepage. This includes:
lists of ministers
links to all statistics and research
Instead, if you have evidence of your users struggling to find this information you should share that with us so we can iterate the organisation page and solve it for everyone.
Destinations which can be featured in promotional slots
You should use the standard ‘news’ promotional slots - not the ‘top tasks’ links - to highlight items of topical relevance to users. These include:
It will soon be possible to feature document series in promotional slots.
External websites and microsites which aren’t associated with a top task
Top task links shouldn’t be used to promote microsites or campaign sites, unless there is evidence of significant demand for this.