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What we’re working on:  21 August 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 7 August

Running and supporting GOV.UK

To keep the site accurate, available and secure, and to meet the most pressing needs of end users, we’ve:

To meet the needs of the people who use the GOV.UK publishing tools, and our other colleagues across government, we’ve also:

To keep our technology stable and up-to-date, and to improve our ability to support users in future, we’ve:

  • rewritten one of our publishing applications so that it’s in a language that can be widely supported within our team

Improving GOV.UK

Things we’ve done to improve GOV.UK in relation to the missions on our development roadmap:

Mission: needs-based browse - alpha

  • planned a follow up meeting to discuss the beta of needs-based browse

Mission: intuitive tagging workflow - alpha

  • completed first technical discussion and write up around tagging architecture

Mission: one way to preview content

  • completed migration of Specialist Publisher to the new content preview system; now publishers can preview specialist documents, including manuals

Mission: comprehensive analytics

  • launched an external links and download tracker, which allows editors from across government to track traffic to external sites and count file downloads made from GOV.UK

Mission: links to local government

  • identified the most-used local transactions across GOV.UK and legacy domains using analytics
  • developed prototypes for local transaction postcode capture, browser geo-location and error messaging

Mission: sustainable smart answers

  • moved all the Smart Answers to an updated code base with full regression testing

Mission: 5 legacy site transitions

  • finished writing new content for reservists and their employers for SaBRE transition

Mission: topic hierarchy for first theme

  • continuing work to identify the first theme

Mission: 16 content themes improved by October

  • published new content on patent applications to help users make an informed decision about intellectual property protection
  • finished drafting new content for the armed forces improvement theme on compensation, service records and using the British Forces Post Office
  • started a justice improvement theme to make it easier for users to find out how much it will cost them to take matters to court

Mission: properly cloud first infrastructure

  • the migration has been delayed to improve performance

Things we plan to do next

In the coming 2 to 3 weeks we expect to:

  • finish the work to move detailed guides onto a /guidance url, for example will automatically redirect to
  • allow GDS editors to withdraw and redirect statistics announcements
  • consistently send organisational data to Google Analytics for all pages
  • display an unsupported browser warning message for publishing tools
  • improve print functionality on the site - particularly for detailed guides
  • prototype some ways of providing a single publishing API for all systems
  • plan for redirecting legacy local transactions to GOV.UK
  • prioritise where immediate improvements can be made to the most-used local transactions on GOV.UK

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.

Jack Church provides Programme Support for GOV.UK. Keep in touch: subscribe to email alerts from this blog.

If this kind of work appeals to you, take a look at Working for GDS – we’re usually in search of talented people to come and join the team.

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  1. Comment by Rebecca Fowler posted on

    With regard to improving print functionality, it would be great if this was applied to HTML attachments as well. We are producing a lot more of these now instead of PDFs.

  2. Comment by Lisa Scott posted on

    Hi Rebecca, we completed a story a few months ago to improve the way HTML publications printed: Have you noticed the difference?