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This sprint for better policy detail and tagging to topics

Here are the most significant things we’re working on in the government section of GOV.UK in this sprint:

  • Improve policy supporting detail pages. The supporting detail pages for policies explain the government schemes used to implement each policy. For example, on the Simplifying welfare and making work pay policy, there is a detail page on Universal Credit. These detail pages are very important, and we're making some changes so that they can be found as separate entities in search, they are easier to edit, they can contain inline images, you can add translations and more.
  • Communicate transition of ALBs to GOV.UK on the organisation page. We want the organisation page to make it clear to users which organisations are live on GOV.UK, which are moving over and which will always have separate websites. We're also going to add a 'status bar' to show our progress in transitioning agencies and ALBs onto GOV.UK.
  • Archive documents. There is a bit more work to do on this from last sprint, to allow the archiving of outdated content on GOV.UK.
  • Closing time, not just date, for consultations. At the moment you can only set a closing date rather than closing time for a consultation, but many consultations close at a specific time of day. We're going to allow editors to input this time, which will make sure that the 'open' or 'closed' heading on a consultation is always accurate.
  • Validate internal links. We receive a high volume of complaints from users about invalid links to other bits of GOV.UK on various pages, usually caused by an editor mistyping the link. From now on we're going to check the markdown on internal links before documents are published, and warn the editor if the URL looks invalid. In the same way we're also going to try to clean up the existing links on the site.
  • Make association to topics mandatory. So that topic pages, filter pages, and email alerts reliably show all the content related to a topic, we're going to make it mandatory to associate all new or newly editioned documents to at least one topic. We will also create an option to say that there is no relevant topic and give a reason why, so that our product team can decide if there's a need for a new topic.
  • Make 'change notes' in publisher clearer. Recently a few editors have mistaken public change notes for internal comments and written things that they didn't mean to appear on the public site. To reduce the likelihood of this, we're going to make the impact of selecting a minor or major change clearer.

We’ll demo where we’ve got to on all this and more besides at the show and tell on Monday 11th November at 3.30pm. Representatives from orgs who are live on GOV.UK are extremely welcome, please comment on this post or email me if you want to come.

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  1. Comment by Andrew Robertson posted on

    Related to validate internal links item: I've noticed some external links (indicated by the little box with an arrow) are being redirected back to GOV.UK, now more organisations have joined the website. Do you feel that is going to become more of a problem and is there any way of checking those links to update them? Perhaps it doesn't really matter that it looks an external link but it is now an internal link? Thanks

    Looking forward to hearing more about document archiving and seeing the organisation transition displayed!

  2. Comment by Andrew Robertson posted on

    Hi, how are you getting on with "Communicate transition of ALBs to GOV.UK on the organisation page" and "Archiving documents"?

    • Replies to Andrew Robertson>

      Comment by Alice Newton posted on

      Hi Andrew, archiving is now possible, and the ability to do it has been devolved to managing editors in departments. Communicating transition of ALBs was waiting on the final exemption list, but now that exists we will turn the feature on next week.