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GOV.UK weeknotes (2 June)

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: What we're working on

Some things we've done in the past couple of weeks

  • released a new, unified site-search
  • built an Alpha of the first HMRC Manual on GOV.UK
  • started work on a manual format for all departments and agencies to use
  • added editioning and workflow to 'About Us' pages in Whitehall Publisher
  • stopped 'out-of-office' emails triggering the 'fact check received' state in the mainstream Publisher
  • designed a way of distinguishing between Preview and Production environments
  • added Bank Holidays for 2016

More things we're working on now and next week

  • finish the minimum viable product (MVP) of the manual format
  • build a Finder for the Air Accident Investigation Branch
  • finish our first site-search tool "best bets" - this allows search analysts to force the best results to the top for popular search terms, without needing developer help
  • tagging 'services and information' content (mainstream) to departments and agencies, so these items appear when the organisations filter is used
  • making the way we use metadata in site-search more consistent
  • acting on user research on the presentation of site-search results
  • better broken link reporting in our Publishing tools, warning of broken links before publication
  • warning of identical titles in Whitehall Publisher

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  1. Comment by Andy posted on

    There the Air Accident Investigation Branch not Bureau

  2. Comment by Rob posted on

    Hi, is there a posting talking more about "acting on user research on the presentation of site-search results", or maybe a post about your user research methods?

    Thank you.

    • Replies to Rob>

      Comment by Ben Andrews posted on

      Hi Rob - we have a blog dedicated to our user research practices here at GDS so that sounds like something you would be interested in. Find it at the following url: . As yet we have not posted about our search related user research specifically but I'm sure we will at some point.



  3. Comment by Umair posted on


    It was mentioned in one of the previous weeknotes that you're working on being able to link outside of GOV.UK from homepage features. Just making sure this was still being worked on 🙂


  4. Comment by E. Brown posted on

    Hi Lisa, and Graham,

    Thank you for the roundup.

    I'm interested in what you said:

    'started work on a manual format for all departments and agencies to use'

    Does this mean:
    - a format for a 'manual', so there's a way to post manuals and things that get called guidance, handbook, instructions, etc.?

    - a format that has a lot of 'manual' features that authors can tweak (non-automated numbering, bullets, quotes, maybe footnotes, or maybe optional fields?)

    Can you tell us more? like what's currently available, that this will be replacing? or is this something completely new that doesn't have a current iteration?

    Is this the next generation of the detailed guide?


    E. Brown

    • Replies to E. Brown>

      Comment by Alice Newton posted on

      Hi Elizabeth,

      I'm going to write a post on the manuals format this week, with screenshots and details. It's more like the first thing you mention, though: a format for long, hierarchical guidance documents. It will not replace the detailed guide.


  5. Comment by Jo Esson posted on

    Will this be mandated? Is it for external facing information only? What will happen to guidance already hosted on the site?

    • Replies to Jo Esson>

      Comment by Lisa Scott posted on

      Hi Jo
      Could you add a bit more context about which part of the post you're referring to? Is it the manuals?