Finally, the government have released a new and improved website to replace the previous directgov and business link websites.
www.gov.uk is now "the best place to find government services and information."
On first impression is seems to do a very good job. They are clearly sticking to their principles and have built a website that has simple navigation, plain and direct language, strong search, uncluttered pages and (as you'd expect) plenty of content!
Interestingly they have clearly & publicly stated these simple principles www.gov.uk/designprinciples which are striking as best practice user centred digital design principles that all web developers should be following:
- Start with needs*
- Do less
- Design with data
- Do the hard work to make it simple
- Iterate. Then iterate again.
- Build for inclusion
- Understand context
- Build digital services, not websites
- Be consistent, not uniform
- Make things open: it makes things better
*User needs, not Government needs
They also have a website devoted to explaining what their digital team are doing. On this, they have a list of all the technology/software the digital team have used for delivering the website. It is worth a look.
It is all great progress. Personally I now can't wait until they release a new version of the DVLA website!