We’ve just launched ‘info’ pages on GOV.UK. These pages aim to help anyone who publishes on GOV.UK to:
- start content design with user needs
- spot problems and potential improvements with existing content
An ‘info’ page contains:
- the user needs the page is intended to meet
- the average number of unique pageviews
- the average number of searches started from the page
- the top 10 search terms
- how many comments have been sent through the ‘is there anything wrong on this page?’ link on average
The averages are calculated from data over the previous 6 weeks.
Making user needs visible
According to the first design principle, starting with user needs is important. Providing an easy way to jump from content to the underpinning needs allows content designers coming to a new topic to understand the need and build empathy with the users quicker. Publishing the GOV.UK user needs should also make the team’s work more transparent and traceable. Eventually, there shouldn’t be any GOV.UK page without a validated user need.
Working in the open
We chose to publish ‘info’ pages on GOV.UK (instead of somewhere behind a login) because (according to the tenth design priciple) it’s better to work in the open. We also wanted to make it simpler for publishers to access the data, since the data was siloed within Google Analytics, Maslow and the Feedback Explorer.
Metrics you can use
Each “info” page metric has been chosen to prompt further investigation.
This shows how popular the page is. Low pageviews could either indicate that few users have that need or that the page hasn’t been optimised correctly for search engines.
Searches started from the page
A high number of searches started from the page could indicate people aren't finding what they need. The actual search terms can hint at the source of confusion or what the missed need might be.
Number of problems reported
A high number of problem reports might indicate:
- a technical problem (eg with a transaction)
- general dissatisfaction with the content
- dissatisfaction with the underlying policy
This is just the start
This is the alpha release of the “info” pages and consequently has several limitations.
Only a handful of needs have been published. While user needs have been captured during the agency and AALB transition process, the GOV.UK team has plenty of work left to do around the recording of needs and linking from the content to the needs.
There are no metrics for multi-part formats (eg guides).
It’s not possible to see how a particular page performs for a given metric in relation to other pages on the site.