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Roadmap update: Friday 29 August

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

We post roadmap updates twice a month. These posts show what the GOV.UK team has recently changed and what we’re working on next.

The second post in each month also includes an updated, full product roadmap which gives a longer-term view of the changes we’re planning.

Download the September roadmap document here

Things we’ve done since 15 August

For end users

In the past couple of weeks, we’ve:

  • added page navigation to the bottom of the search results page, so users can explore more results
  • updated child maintenance content and user journeys to help people understand policy changes and manage their child maintenance
  • completed transition of 4 more agencies onto GOV.UK, including Legal Aid Agency and Land Registry, and self assessment content from HM Revenue and Customs
  • migrated content into, and launched, a tool to help people find international development funding opportunities
  • built a tool to help people find air accident investigation reports (now awaiting content so it can launch)
  • added support for detailed guides in foreign languages
  • added support for more organisation-specific jobs links on their homepages
  • improved the manuals format: adding support for custom numbering in lists, and adding manuals to the site search index

For government publishers

For our users around government, we’ve also:

  • given managing editors in departments and agencies the ability to edit the featured services and information links on their organisation page
  • published emergency contact details (in the support application, which publishers can access) and granted all publishers access to the feedback explorer by default
  • set unused publishing accounts to be suspended automatically
  • made improvements to the publishing interface for statistics announcements
  • made it clearer in Whitehall Publisher how to set the right date for old publications
  • clarified some frequently misunderstood markdown hints around acronyms and abbreviations in Whitehall Publisher
  • made it clearer in Whitehall Publisher how to differentiate between people (eg ministers and board members) with the same name
  • completed the first version of the HMRC manuals publishing API – including integrating the Manuals Frontend to Content Store

Technical improvements

In the past few weeks we’ve completed a fully working version of the Transition Tool running on Postgres (a more powerful database), using live data imported nightly.

Things we plan to do next

For end users

In the next couple of weeks, we plan to:

  • continue to transition more agencies onto GOV.UK, including Youth Justice Board and Charity Commission
  • continue building a finder for safety updates, alerts and recalls for drugs and medical devices
  • finish work on the ability to mark content as in beta

For government publishers

We will:

  • start work on publishing user needs and usage data about GOV.UK pages, to help content designers measure performance and improve content
  • complete work on a short URL builder to speed up the process of setting up new short URLs, and continue to make progress on a tool to make it easier to build smart answers
  • introduce the ability for GDS content designers to curate lists of content on sub-topic browse pages under subheadings (read more about this here)
  • let content designers compare differences between editions in Travel Advice Publisher
  • tighten up access control around restricted sections in Whitehall Publisher, eg creating and editing organisation pages
  • introduce a content workflow to Statistics Announcements in Whitehall Publisher
  • investigate if we can use markdown for more complex content presentation, eg bar charts and equations

Technical improvements

On the tech side, we will:

  • produce scripts that will make it quicker for GDS developers to manage changes to specialist browse tags
  • continue work on the single publishing pipeline with a focus on URL arbitration (stopping applications from trying to use the same URL for different pages)
  • complete work to serve GOV.UK from a second content delivery network, so the site is more resilient to spikes in demand
  • complete work on conversion of the Transition Tool to the Postgres database, allowing the tool to manage huge datasets associated with transitioning the very large sites
  • complete work on retiring Redirector, simplifying the transition architecture and reducing the number of applications we need to support

Sharing and comments

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  1. Comment by Greg Morgan posted on

    Hi Neil
    Can you tell us when specialist browse pages will appear in search results?

    • Replies to Greg Morgan>

      Comment by Ben Andrews posted on

      Hi Greg - the feature this relates to is 'Improve search index: all content formats', which you will see is in the 'Planned' column of the roadmap.

      Hope that helps.



      • Replies to Ben Andrews>

        Comment by Greg Morgan posted on

        Thanks Ben, I believe it has been in that 'planned' column for some months now - any idea when it's going to move to the 'in progress' column?


  2. Comment by George posted on


    Are you able to comment on the progress of individual department transitions? I'd love to find out how the Highways Agency transition is going if possible. That's if it has begun of course.

    Thank you!
    Keep up the good work.

  3. Comment by Pete posted on

    What's teh difference between a roadmap update and an update? Roadmap I believe falls foul of GOV.UK's own style guidelines - please do not use the term.

  4. Comment by Genny Millinger posted on

    I agree with Pete. Please keep it simple - "update" is quite adequate! Genny

  5. Comment by Neil Williams posted on

    I get your point, but a roadmap update is an update to the product development roadmap, specifically, as opposed to an update about anything else, and I would argue that it is a clear and appropriate term in the context of this blog. We explained it the first time it was used: