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What we're working on: 14 October 2016

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This is a list of what we’ve been working on since the last update on 30 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:

  • fixed a bug that was causing errors when trying to remove topics in Whitehall Publisher
  • started planning the publication of the 2016 Autumn Statement next month with HM Treasury (HMT)
  • published new guidance on how to report and pay Capital Gains Tax allowing users to do this at any time of the year
  • started redirecting UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) URLs to Department for International Trade (DIT)
  • published 14 new and updated pieces of content for redesigned and simplified user journeys into Self Assessment, including new combined guide for signing in and registering

Improving GOV.UK

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

  • built an application to make short campaign URLs
  • improved our guidance about building of HTML tables
  • done a 3-day project on how we can improve the content for getting married abroad - Italy is the most popular destination, so we’ve prioritised that guidance
  • introduced a delete attachment feature for Finders pages so that publishers can remove unwanted attachments
  • completed migrating the Detailed Guides template to the new publishing platform
  • completed migrating Fatality Notice templates to the new publishing platform
  • completed a round of research to test the new draft taxonomy for education
  • spent 2 evenings testing new navigation designs in the research lab
  • worked on simplifying and improving our taxonomy tools
  • improved the content and user journeys around applying for military medals with the Ministry of Defence (MoD)
  • started a discovery project for international content to review the needs of international users and how we’re meeting them on GOV.UK
  • got stuck into the discovery to see how complex migrating ‘mainstream’ content templates to publishing platform is
  • completed another round of user research for Local Links Manager and learning how well our prototype meets the needs of users
  • had 3 content designers from Home Office (HO) with us this week so they can learn the processes and workflows for mainstream content changes on GOV.UK, and build the capability of their team

Things we plan to do next

In the next 2 to 3 weeks we expect to:

  • identify, prioritise and start to build the tools that will support the intended outcomes of the Content Operating Model
  • start building changes into the ‘marriage abroad smart answer’ with the aim to simplify regular content updates
  • discuss how to improve the user journeys to passports content with HM Passport Office (HMPO)
  • start migrating Document Collections templates to the new publishing platform
  • give editors the ability to discard drafts in Specialist Publisher
  • continue work on creating public change history functionality in the Publishing API
  • plan (and possibly start) a content improvement project on personal tax user journeys
  • publish the improved military medals content
  • continue work with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) on simplified user journeys into services, focusing on the business tax account
  • do user research with British citizens living abroad and non-British citizens in the UK to understand their needs
  • work with Home Office (HO) content designers and subject matter experts from UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI), to help improve the user journey for immigration and visa applicants on GOV.UK

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  1. Comment by Pete Taylor posted on

    Something you might want to work on (which I've reported repeatedly and still is not fixed).


    1 is outdated, 2 is current. 1 (or the PDF linked from 1) ranks higher (often top) on most Google searches for relevant search terms (e.g. "university vaccination"); 2 isn't even in the first page of results.

    As you might expect, as a result 1 is getting more traffic than 2 (and given that most links are deep links to the PDF itself, I imagine the PDF disparity is much greater - though I as an end user can't see the hit figures for PDFs instead of just pages). wants to be a trusted source of information, but is surfacing unmarked outdated content and hence giving people incorrect advice about an important vaccination programme introduced reactively due to the increasing number of MenW cases.

    It isn't inconceivable that this is causing quantifiable harm to health.

    You might want to fix it.

    • Replies to Pete Taylor>

      Comment by Keith Emmerson posted on

      Hi Pete,

      I'll forward this on to Public Health England for you. They publish those particular PDFs.

      Thanks for getting in touch,