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What’s new and what’s coming up: GOV.UK weeknotes (4 April)

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A summary of the changes we’ve made to the GOV.UK site since mid-March, and what we’ve got planned up until Easter.

What we’ve done

In the past couple of weeks, we’ve:

  • successfully moved GOV.UK publishing systems to a new hosting environment - meaning a faster, more reliable service for government publishers.
  • hosted GOV.UK’s first budget (875,000 pageviews so far and counting)
  • updated lots of smart answers and content to reflect new rates
  • added a ‘Save & Next’ button to the speed tagging interface in publisher, so that content can be checked into the site more quickly
  • updated the Overseas Passport tool to reflect a new process for applying for your passport overseas
  • welcomed DfID to the GOV.UK blog platform
  • done more work on the transition of the government statistics hub to GOV.UK
  • improved presentation of search results in Maslow
  • used scheduled publishing on 'services and information' content for the first time

What’s coming up

In the next couple of weeks - more or less up to Easter - we’re planning to:

  • launch the first Finder, for Competition and Markets Authority
  • create flexible options for categorising groups (see John's blogpost)
  • work out how smart answers could be updated more easily by content designers (thereby freeing up our development team to do other stuff)
  • release a feature that flags to users of Publisher when something from the 'words to avoid' list is being used
  • add a workflow and an audit trail to corporate pages
  • do yet more work on forthcoming statistical releases
  • allow old speeches to be published silently, for the first time
  • add the ability to compare versions of documents within Publisher
  • give organisations the ability to link to blogposts - and other content hosted outside publisher - from promotion slots on homepages and topic pages

User formats firebreaking from 9 April

In agile working, it’s often a good idea to plan “firebreak” weeks - in which the team take a step back from working on ‘business as usual’ stories, and towards more reflective work, looking at how big-picture improvements can be made. It’s simultaneously a way of giving the product team a bit of a breather, and ultimately improving the quality of the product.

We’ve got one of these weeks coming up for user formats teams, starting on 9 April.

During that week, we’ll be maintaining Zendesk cover for requests which are genuinely urgent - but otherwise, we won’t be planning on working on feature requests. Normal service will be resumed after Easter.

We’ll report back on what comes out of it…

Find out more

We’re trying to work as openly as possible.  We’re still trying out different approaches to this, but you might want to look at the User Formats team pivotal dashboard – this lists all the stories we’re currently working on.

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  1. Comment by E.A. Brown posted on

    "...launch the first Finder, for Competition and Markets Authority"

    Looking forward to this - keen to see the layout.

    "...release a feature that flags to users of Publisher when something from the ‘words to avoid’ list is being used"

    Is this different from the 'jargone' widget? does it have an editable dictionary?


    E. Brown

    • Replies to E.A. Brown>

      Comment by Graham Francis posted on

      Hi - we hope to be blogging about both of these in more detail. The 'words to avoid' will be part of publisher, rather than a separate widget.

  2. Comment by Ben posted on

    Any ETA on giving organisations the ability to link to external content from promotion slots on homepages? And will it be available for country pages on Worldwide eg: ?

    • Replies to Ben>

      Comment by Graham Francis posted on

      Hi Ben - the work is about 80% done, but being carried over into the next sprint. We're taking the opportunity to standardise and improve the featuring interface across all types of pages (e.g. organisation, topic, topical event, worldwide) so hopefully others should see the benefit of this shortly too.