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What we’re working on: 13 November 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 2 October

Running and supporting GOV.UK

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

Improving GOV.UK

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

  • continued work on improvements to our single publishing platform write API
  • setup Pact Broker so that the documentation for the Publishing API is always up to date
  • started migrating all of GOV.UK’s publishing applications to use our single publishing platform write API
  • enabled exact phrase searches when queries start and end with double quotes
  • built a sample taxonomy for the education theme
  • provided some fixes for the policy email alerting issue
  • sorted out a number of technical anomalies with some Insolvency Service pages
  • completed analytics work to determine how much GOV.UK content is published and tagged
  • fixed an issue with Courts and Tribunals pages not being found in search engines
  • added Power To Switch, Horizon 2020 and CS Apprenticeships to search
  • added support for content-id field to the HMRC manuals API
  • completed a discovery and analysis of user journeys into the HMRC ‘starter checklist’ for new employees
  • worked with HMRC on guidance and user journeys into the Inheritance Tax service
  • linked to the Royal Mail’s postcode and address finder to help user find their correct postcode when using a local transaction
  • added auto-correction of mistakes in postcodes entered by users on local transaction pages; letter and numbers transposed, removing hyphens and trailing typos
  • started working with local authorities to find out how users are making journeys between GOV.UK and local authority websites
  • continued work on transitioning publishing tools to use a more up-to-date way of identifying local councils (using GSS codes rather than SNACs)
  • logging of the errors users see when entering postcodes on local transaction pages

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

  • ran the GOV.UK content conference on 5 November. Almost 200 content designers across government met in London to talk about content, analytics and how to work better. We’ve got feedback and formed a steering group to work on the next one in March 2016
  • updated the 'create or change a user account' form to be clearer, comprehensive and up-to-date, so that government publishers can easily request to create or change a user account
  • added Govspeak to HTML publications so that users can add large font and graphs

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

  • decommissioned our external-link-tracker for external links in GOV.UK internal search results now that we've decided our link tracker is good enough
  • redirected slug in Income Tax Rates guide
  • started to migrate applications from using an out-of-date way of identifying local councils (SNAC codes) to using a current standard (GSS codes)
  • improved how we monitor the uptime of Bouncer, one of our applications
  • upgraded one of our applications, Asset-manager, to use the current version of Rails
  • upgraded two further applications; Imminence and Licence-finder, to use the current version of Ruby
  • fixed the redirects in Panopticon so that they redirect artefacts to a single target (even when they use prefixes under the hood) - this was particular problem when trying to withdraw and redirect licences

Things we plan to do next

In the coming 2 to 3 weeks we expect to:

  • prepare for the Autumn Statement and Spending Review on 25 November. We’ll be supporting HM Treasury and HMRC to publish timely and accurate information on the day
  • continue our work to migrate all GOV.UK’s publishing applications to use our single publishing platform write API
  • hold a cross departmental kick off meeting focussing on our education theme
  • commence education theme user research work
  • start the education theme’s content inventory and audit
  • migrating the Whitehall publishing application to the v2 publishing API - this will allow us to  start migrating Whitehall formats to phase 1 of the new publishing platform
  • starting to migrate World Location News Articles to phase one of the new publishing platform - which will mean content preview will be available for that format

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

  1. Comment by Andrew Robertson posted on

    Have GDS considered geo-location for look-up tools like report fly-tipping? Many retailers and coffee shops offer this on their mobile websites now. It would me much easier to report problems at the location using smartphones.