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What we’re working on: 5 June 2015

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What we’ve been working on since the last update, and what we plan to do next.

What we’ve done since 11 May

For end users

To meet end users’ needs and improve their experience, we’ve:

Before and after recent improvements to site search

For government publishers

For people who use the GOV.UK publishing tools and our colleagues across government, we’ve:

  • improved the feedback explorer tool (which publishers can use to see anonymous comments users have made about pages) so you can now filter and view all feedback by organisation and date range
  • improved tagging of documents to policies and programmes
  • made the Whitehall interface consistent with the guidance on withdrawing content (previously referred to as archiving)
  • built a Whitehall interface to set the ‘order of precedence’ of ministerial organisations

Technology and process improvements


  • agreed what our high level goals are for the year ahead, which we’ll share in a separate post soon
  • finalised plans to reshape our product teams to make sure we’re set up in the best way possible to run the platform and support all our users
  • completed the switchover from classic Google Analytics to Universal Google Analytics
    tidied up some of the technical debt from all of the election-related changes (there’s more of this to do in the next 2 weeks)
  • refactored ElasticSearch so we can make improvements to search synonyms

Things we plan to do next

In the coming weeks we expect to:

  • start removing detailed guide categories from GOV.UK and replace them with appropriate sub topics
  • design and start building an alpha of our service-oriented (or needs-based) information architecture, using childcare services as the alpha service
  • finish review and improvements to Corporation Tax content
  • finish review and improvements to tax credits content
  • make improvements to most visited passports content
  • make improvements to Standard Visitor visa content across GOV.UK, involving analytics and user feedback
  • review performance and user journeys for patents content to ensure we’re meeting the needs of unrepresented applicants
  • start work on the transition of the SaBRE, Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, Horizon 2020 and Planning Portal websites to GOV.UK
  • remove the old policy format and worldwide priority format from Whitehall Publisher
  • add more facets to policy finders
  • paginate finders
  • add the ability to ‘export to csv’ from the Feedback Explorer
  • move into our new product team structure and share further plans for what the teams will be tackling from July

As always, if any of this is unclear, or if you have feedback on whether we’re prioritising the right stuff, please do comment on this post to let us know.

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1 comment

  1. Comment by Dave Hallworth posted on

    Hi Neil, I don't really understand your 5th bullet:
    simplified the metadata that appears on documents by removing policy areas (previously known as topics)
    I thought policy areas and topics were quite different things, rather than one of them being previously known as the other, and I've just checked one of our pages that displayed tags to both policy and topic - but the policy and topic are both still there on the page - now confusingly identical since the policy got renamed (one of our editors, Ale del Cueto, has brought up the question of renamed policies looking the same as topics, which will be confusing for users, in several places - basecamp, blog comments, content clinics, etc without getting any answers)
    Can you clarify, please?