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What we're working on: 30 September 2016

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This is a list of what we’ve been working on since the last update on 16 September 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:

  • made final fact check changes to pensions content following the improvement project
  • improved related mainstream URLs in detailed guides pages on whitehall publisher
  • made improvements to ensure that the title of mainstream content is automatically retrieved and no longer needs to be input manually by content editors
  • improved the reset password functionality so users are forced to log in after they reset their password so they don’t bypass 2 Step Verification
  • updated lots of smart answers - for example, the guide for getting married abroad and overseas passport application forms
  • got a new trainer to run training for content designers across government to write for and publish on GOV.UK
  • made changes to search to reflect a country name change and made this task easier to do in future
  • fixed the policies page to automatically show new ministerial departments and changes

Improving GOV.UK

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

  • worked with Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) on a content strategy for worldwide pages
  • completed an internal review of the improved content around improving journeys into registration for Self Assessment
  • completed user research on the recent improvements to the content about flooding
  • worked with Public Health England (PHE) to identify sites to transition
  • advised and supported the National Obesity Observatory (NOO) on how content can be woven into existing GOV.UK content, what content types might be most appropriate and what should be archived
  • completed a one-day pair writing project with Ministry of Defence (MOD) content design and policy to improve content and user journeys on applying for military medals
  • completed a workshop with customs policy leads at HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) in Southend to get their feedback on the import/export prototype
  • improved the save functionality in Specialist Publisher, by showing a pop up box to users if they try to navigate away from the page they are working on without saving
  • ensured that data sent to Publishing Platform by publishing applications is correct and reliable
  • worked on splitting finders and manuals into their own separate publishing applications
  • introduced simpler A/B testing to help GDS content designers measure and improve content
  • built a custom ticket tracking dashboard for Trello boards, to highlight where tickets are getting stuck in our update process
  • built a way to visually represent ‘smart answer’ logic trees
  • built a shortcut that allows content designers to quickly view the GovSpeak version of a smart answer page
  • spoken to colleagues in Department of Health (DH) and Government Legal Department (GLD) about their needs for email subscriptions
  • put on the 4th cross-government content conference, bringing over 100 content designers together to share problems and solutions
  • finished the first draft of a new taxonomy for education content on GOV.UK
  • created a prototype for improvements to navigation on GOV.UK based on the new taxonomy
  • completed work on a tool that allows us to assign existing GOV.UK content to the new taxonomy
  • held a workshop with the Department for Education (DfE) and education agencies. We shared our research findings on how people use education content on GOV.UK

Things we plan to do next

In the next 2 to 3 weeks we expect to:

  • start the getting married abroad improvement project next week, with a focus on Italy because it's the most popular country with users
  • start to plan for the publication of the 2016 Autumn Statement
  • do content improvement work around journeys into the personal tax account
  • develop an approach to the 80 plus PHE sites that have been earmarked for transition
  • develop a wider plan to transition the remaining agency websites to GOV.UK
  • interview for a new content designer to join the transition team
  • start a 3 week discovery in order to better understand how we will migrate GOV.UK mainstream formats to the new GOV.UK publishing platform. Our aims are to understand the complexity involved in migrating these formats and identifying any dependencies on the publishing platform
  • move into the next phase of our local links mission by iterating Local Links Manager to better meet the needs of GOV.UK admin users
  • introduce a delete attachment feature for finders, this will make it easier for publishers to remove unwanted attachments
  • complete work on supporting Govspeak in the Publishing API, so that Specialist Publisher Govspeak content is transformed into HTML
  • start work on creating public change history in the Publishing API
  • build an interface for a Campaigns URL redirect tool
  • improve how we build HTML tables, with supporting advice and guidance
  • set up a user satisfaction survey so that users who get GOV.UK email notifications can have their say about the current service
  • conduct research with users in the healthcare, travel and law industries about GOV.UK email notifications
  • begin testing our draft education taxonomy with users
  • create a draft taxonomy for content relating to parenting, childcare and children's services
  • analyse the results of our navigation prototype testing

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