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What we're working on: 5 August 2016

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This is a list of what we’ve been working on since the last update on 22 July 2016, and what we plan to do next. As usual we’ve divided the work up into lists of what we’ve been doing to keep GOV.UK running, and what we’re doing to make it better.

Running and supporting GOV.UK

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

  • updated Universal Credit content to reflect the increase in the number of people who are eligible
  • improved the Apply for Universal Credit start page now that the postcode is checker is very nearly almost ready
  • finished the latest phase of improvements to the pensions content
  • supported the changes to departments by re-tagging content from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the Department of Energy and Climate Change and UK Trade and Investment to their new departments
  • added a new report type, a ‘safety digest’, to the rail accident investigation branch report finder

Improving GOV.UK

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

  • continued the content review alpha project - we’ve introduced daily content critiques so content designers can share problems and ideas to help them improve content
  • experimented with search behaviour so that if you search from pages on the /government part of the site the organisation filter will automatically open. We’ll be measuring the effect of this change and if this improves some searches - give it a try
  • done a thing that means we can now import tagging information for bulk tagging
  • experimented with some machine learning technologies to see if they can help us build a taxonomy and tag content to that taxonomy
  • reviewed all the campaign pages on GOV.UK, removing outdated content, and worked with the policy and engagement team to understand how GOV.UK content will work with the new campaigns platform
  • worked with the Office of the Public Guardian to improve the content and user journey for making a Lasting Power of Attorney
  • built a shiny new application to manage links to local authority websites from GOV.UK to replace the current Local Directgov system

Things we plan to do next

In the next 2 to 3 weeks we expect to:

  • improve the user journey to the new passport service
  • continue analysing the 24 interviews we held with people who work in schools and colleges, to inform our taxonomy development work and the user needs related to education content on GOV.UK
  • create some basic tools to manage the new taxonomy
  • add breadcrumbs to more pages on GOV.UK
  • publish improved content on Council Tax and business rates following a project with the Valuation Office Agency (VOA)
  • publish improved content on flooding following a project with the Environment Agency
  • start an improvement theme looking at the information around applying for a UK residence card
  • recruit research participants for the new local links application

That's it for this fortnight!

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  1. Comment by Graham posted on

    Thanks Keith. Can I find out more about the project with the VOA? I work at Welsh Government and we'll be reviewing our business rates content soon.

    • Replies to Graham>

      Comment by Keith Emmerson posted on

      Hi Graham,

      I've forwarded your email address to the people who worked on it - they'll be getting in touch with you directly.
      Have a good week,

  2. Comment by Dave Hallworth posted on

    Hi Keith
    Love the idea of the organisation filter opening when you search for something while on one of an organisation's pages. It's something we asked for years go. I've given it a try but it doesn't work. Have I misunderstood or has it not switched on yet?

  3. Comment by Ian Taylor posted on

    How did you choose the 24 people you interviewed about schools and colleges content...?

    I realise you are hamstrung by the ever-changing content and clarifications and reclarifications of Mr Gibb and his minions, but the content on the Standards and Testing Agency section is often impenetrable.

    Happy to provide further feedback...

    • Replies to Ian Taylor>

      Comment by emmamaxim posted on

      Thanks for your question, Ian! For this project, we used an external recruiter to get our participants. We put together our requirements such as demographics, job roles, and tasks. Some significant criteria included talking to people from a range of school types (we had a decent spread between state schools, free schools, academies, and a few speciality schools). We also made sure to spread across a range of geographical areas.

      We often use an external recruiter for these sorts of projects so that we can talk to a range of people with whom we wouldn't usually have contact (and to reduce any bias on our part). They can also help us reach a larger range of geographical areas and access professional users in more unique roles.

      We are absolutely interested in your feedback! Submit your feedback here and mention that it is for the attention of the Finding Things team. We can then track it back against other feedback from GOV.UK users and get in touch with you, should we require further clarification.