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What we're working on: 28 October 2016

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This is a list of what we’ve been working on since the last update on 14 October 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:

  • published a new start page for passport applications so users are sent to the most appropriate transaction to get a passport
  • fixed a bug that caused Govspeak code to be displayed in search results
  • fixed a bug that prevented users from applying up to 15 filters when refining search results
  • cleared out HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) tickets from the content team's backlog
  • trained 8 content designers to make decisions on departmental requests for ‘high-profile group’ and ‘group’ pages on GOV.UK
  • mades lots of changes to smart answers, the GOV.UK homepage and various 'start' pages
  • added the ability for editors to discard drafts if they no longer intend to publish it in Specialist Publisher

Improving GOV.UK

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

  • met with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to discuss improving the getting married abroad content and the process we use to update the content
  • completed user research with British citizens living abroad and non-British citizens in the UK to understand their needs
  • removed documents attached to unpublished content in Specialist Publisher
  • restored functionality in Specialist Publisher where we show error message to editors if they try to publish a document which has the same title as something else
  • got the results in from the first GOV.UK developer survey - this allows us to measure how well the Publishing Platform meets the needs of developers
  • extended our discovery to better understand how we will migrate GOV.UK mainstream page templates to the new GOV.UK Publishing Platform
  • started analysing the results from the latest round of user research for Local Links Manager
  • started a two week collaboration with the Data team to explore how machine learning technologies might help in the creation of a single taxonomy for GOV.UK
  • started iterating the new navigation designs based on the first round of research
  • completed a second round of testing for the new draft education taxonomy with journalists
  • made improvements to our tools to visualise and edit the structure of the new taxonomy
  • started our discovery to explore the frontend architecture and templates
  • started defining user needs around frontend templates
  • visited the European Commission in Brussels and the Dutch Chamber of Commerce in Rotterdam to discuss content and services for startup businesses and the ‘single digital gateway
  • continued work with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) on simplifying user journeys into services, focusing on the business tax account
  • got half way through discovery into GOV.UK email notifications and we’ve just completed 2 rounds of user research - so now we’re pulling out the insights from each of those interviews
  • started recruiting local government users of GOV.UK email subscriptions to take part in research
  • started a project with content teams from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and Citizens Advice to improve the experience for people and families who are separating, and avoiding the cost and trauma of going through the courts
  • almost finalised our guidance and recommendations for creating HTML tables
  • simplified the ‘Getting married abroad’ smart answer so that updates take less time to complete

Things we plan to do next

In the next 2 to 3 weeks we expect to:

  • finish our discovery project on international user needs and content
  • finish the migration of the following Whitehall Publisher page templates: ‘Document Collections’, ‘Publications’ and ‘HTML Publications’
  • finish bulk republishing and public content history features on the Publishing Platform
  • start discovery into editor workflow on Mainstream Publisher and Whitehall Publisher to find out how we build this capability into the Publishing Platform
  • continue the migration of the related links pattern, currently used on mainstream content
  • prepare for another round of testing our new navigation designs with headteachers
  • have an idea of the frontend architecture and how this will look
  • visit device labs to test current frontend templates on different devices and browsers
  • begin phase 2 of a project to improve content and user journeys for people starting a business
  • work with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) to plan improvements to content for seafarers and other maritime users
  • carry out our third round of research and analysis with users in the education sector and local government before starting to draw out the key user needs from the three rounds of research
  • make sure we'll have the time and people to deal with a large number changes to the immigration rules which will shortly be laid before Parliament
  • design and prototype the data and tools that will support content designers across government

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