Bringing sanity to UK government IT:

how GDS built GOV.UK





Big Tech Day 6, June 2013


@benilov

Who am I?

UK Cabinet Office

Agenda




UK government IT, GDS & GOV.UK



GOV.UK and feedback

Agenda




UK government IT, GDS & GOV.UK



GOV.UK and feedback






Bringing sanity to UK government IT:

how GDS built GOV.UK

UK government IT insanity





... is too big a topic

UK government IT insanity








today: only publishing



Martha Lane Fox, UK Digital Champion







Bringing more people online







Making online services more efficient






Moving to digital by default could save the government £1.7bn to £1.8bn every year




Source: Cabinet Office Digital Efficiency Report, November 2012




For some government services, the average cost of a digital transaction is

20x lower than the cost of a telephone transaction

30x lower than the cost of postal transaction

50x lower than a face-to-face transaction




Source: Cabinet Office Digital Efficiency Report, November 2012

Government publishing in 2010





750 top level domains

Government publishing in 2010





Directgov, Business Link 6 years old

Government publishing in 2010

Directgov

Government publishing in 2010

Business Link

Government publishing in 2010





no unified website identities

Government publishing in 2010

Government publishing in 2010

Government publishing in 2010

Government publishing in 2010




users have to understand the structure of government to find information and services

Directgov usability problems




"everything is in one place, but it is a confusing place."






Source: Consumer Focus, Does Directgov Deliver?

Directgov usability problems




"...the information is not built around priorities in public services but around what the site is able to easily provide"





Source: Consumer Focus, Does Directgov Deliver?

Directgov usability problems




"At present, there are over a 100 sections and headings that link from the home page."





Source: Consumer Focus, Does Directgov Deliver?

Directgov usability problems




"Much content duplicates the work of existing trusted sources"






Source: Consumer Focus, Does Directgov Deliver?

Directgov usability problems




"Online surveys of visitors to Directgov shows 35% of people are unable to find everything they want"





Source: Consumer Focus, Does Directgov Deliver?

Making online services more efficient

Making online services more efficient



1. Fix transactional services

2. Fix publishing

3. Go wholesale, not just retail

4. New CEO Digital



Source: Tom Loosemore, GDS Changing by Doing, http://slidesha.re/nzYV4T

Making online services more efficient




2. Fix publishing (single domain, consistent UX, shared platform)


4. New CEO Digital (with powers & means to deliver above)



Source: Tom Loosemore, GDS Changing by Doing, http://slidesha.re/nzYV4T






Bringing sanity to UK government IT:

how GDS built GOV.UK

What is GDS?



Government

Digital

Service

What is GDS?







Bringing sanity to UK government IT:

how GDS built GOV.UK







https://www.gov.uk

What is GOV.UK?






Single government domain

What is GOV.UK?






Single entry point to central government

What is GOV.UK?






Single brand







GOV.UK replaced Directgov and Business Link on October 17, 2012







1800 user needs identified







700+ user needs redesigned and rewritten







188 million visits and 546 million pageviews in 6 months

GOV.UK: homepage








24 ministerial departments migrated by April 30, 2013

GOV.UK: departments

GOV.UK: departments

GOV.UK: answers


GOV.UK: transactions


GOV.UK: guides


GOV.UK: calculators



GOV.UK: one-off formats








Did GOV.UK succeed?

It gets more traffic


Source: GOV.UK performance dashboard

It's cheaper




Source: Efficiency and Reform 2012/13 summary report

It's award-winning

Mike Bracken and Ben Terrett at the Design Awards

Source: Mike Bracken and Ben Terrett at the Design Awards by Cabinet Office, on Flickr

Agenda




UK government IT, GDS & GOV.UK



GOV.UK and feedback





iterative development, cross functional teams, TDD, continuous integration, code reviews, retrospectives, automated testing, etc etc


BORING!







7 unusual types of feedback







1. release early

The Alpha





a publicly released prototype

The Alpha





12 weeks, £261K

The Alpha





Built for learning - a Minimum Viable Product

The Alpha


The Beta


The Launch




Source:  How the redirection works, Paul Downey, GDS Blog

The Launch










2. product analytics







design with data

Pre-launch





decide whether to migrate or drop content

Pre-launch





identify nuances around specific user needs

Pre-launch





identify how users were finding the content

Pre-launch





identify target browsers and devices

Post-launch





define success metrics







3. performance dashboards

GOV.UK Performance Dashboard


Inside Government Performance Dashboard


GOV.UK Content Explorer


GDS Transactions Explorer








4. user research







analytics says what, user research explains why







lab testing

Iterating on the homepage


Iterating on the homepage


Iterating on the homepage


Iterating on the homepage








5. accessibility testing






usable and useful for disadvantaged users

not just box-ticking







internal testing

Colour contrast checker


Colour blindness simulator


Blurred vision simulator








external user testing







6. devops







developers and operations building live services together







developers have the keys to production







operations aren't responsible for fixing broken apps







it's great!




 






1000 code changes in the first 8 months

(7 updates per working day)







7. direct user feedback







GOV.UK has a user helpdesk

Reporting problems


Even on 404 pages








user feedback as monitoring







investigating trends



Thank you.

Questions?




Follow me on Twitter:

@benilov

Agenda


What is GDS?


What is GOV.UK?


GOV.UK and feedback


GOV.UK and open source

My open source contributions



GDS is "all in" with open source







perhaps not strictly "open source"

coding in the open







1. fairness towards the taxpayer







2. fairness towards the OSS community







3. transparency







4. reuse







5. marketing







6. as a portfolio



Bringing sanity to government IT

By Jake Benilov

Bringing sanity to government IT

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