Introduction to GOV.UK and user needs


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A presentation by Louise Russell and Abby Rudland from Local Direct. The presentation covers how GOV.UK was developed and how it puts user needs at the heart of content design.

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  • more than 30 million visits a month
  • beta – task completion from c60% to c70%
  • DirectGov - c 120 seconds GOV.UK - c 80 seconds
    100,000 days a year
  • But what is a user need? And how do you work out what the needs of your users are?
  • These 3 simple lines help you think about
    1 who the user is
    2 what the action is
    3 why the user wants to do the action
  • GOV.UK uses a simple formula.
    As a blank, I want to blank so that I can blank.
  • So for example, “As a self-employed person, I want to file my tax return so that I can avoid nasty fines.”
  • Here’s a reason why you should keep things short and simple:
    Most people read webpages in an F-shape pattern.
    Ie they read the top few lines, then scan down, looking at the beginnings of lines and subheadings
    By halfway down the page, they’ve stopped reading!
  • To deal with this style of reading… (see slide)
  • Introduction to GOV.UK and user needs

    1. 1. How did we get here?
    2. 2. In 2004 the government web went from a loosely coordinated collection of websites...
    3. 3. to something a bit simpler... Directgov Business Link
    4. 4. A tremendous achievement, which brought enormous benefits, but it’s time to move on again Directgov Business Link
    5. 5. The web is now mainstream Users expect high quality service experiences And businesses know how to deliver them
    6. 6. Revolution not evolution
    7. 7. They went from this... directgov businesslink Directgov Business Link
    8. 8. a single domain Mainstream Users & Needs Specialist Users & Needs GOV.UK
    9. 9. Focused on user needs, not government needs
    10. 10. Simpler
    11. 11. Clearer
    12. 12. Faster
    13. 13. Simpler Clearer Faster…….
    14. 14. Simpler Clearer Faster……. …..and loads cheaper
    15. 15. It’s saved money.. £42 million (2012/2013) by replacing Directgov, BusinessLink, departmental sites and related organisation sites with GOV.UK
    16. 16. E.g. Online: 22p Phone: £4.11 Post: £6.62 Digital by default 20 x cheaper than phone, 30 x cheaper than post 50 x cheaper than face-to-face
    17. 17. It does less
    18. 18. It does less
    19. 19. It’s focussed on tasks - getting to the “quick do”
    20. 20. It optimises for the common case but doesn’t ignore the edge case
    21. 21. GOV.UK is big…
    22. 22. It’s won awards Design of the Year 2013 D&Ad Awards 2013
    23. 23. What does this mean for local government?
    24. 24. There are 134 journeys from GOV.UK to local government
    25. 25. Let’s talk technical But not for long!
    26. 26. Small teams of world-class developers, designers and managers Tight control of experience design Iterative, agile, user-focused product development
    27. 27. They’re building GOV.UK the way Google build Google and Amazon build Amazon
    28. 28. They’re using open source and making that source freely available
    29. 29. GOV.UK is being extensively and continuously tested and improved so it works better for users
    30. 30. GOV.UK – putting user needs at the heart of content design
    31. 31. What is a user need?
    32. 32. Who’s the audience? What’s the action? Why do they want to do it?
    33. 33. Defining the user need “As a _______ I want to ________ so that I can ________”
    34. 34. Defining the user need “As a self-employed person I want to file my tax return so that I can avoid nasty fines.”
    35. 35. “As a self-employed person I want to file my tax return so that I can avoid nasty fines.”
    36. 36. Designing Content
    37. 37. Content should be as short, simple and specific as possible Users won’t read your content - so don’t make them!
    38. 38. Front-load sentences with the important stuff If it’s not essential, leave it out Break it up. Use - short sentences and paragraphs - subheads - lists - active voice