Revolutionising GOV.UK


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How did a handful of web nerds kick-start a chain of events that will save the UK government billions of dollars each year? And how do 10 simple design principles underpin how the UK’s Government Digital Service is revolutionizing government online? Paul Annett, Creative Lead at the Cabinet Office, will discuss the cultural and technological shifts now underway, and how you can bring them to your workplace.

Revolutionising GOV.UK

  1. 1. RevolutionisingGOV.UKPaul AnnettCreative LeadUK Government Digital Service (“GDS”)@nicepaul UK Government
  2. 2. How’s that for a quote! Not entirely accurate, butthere is something incredible happening here.@nicepaul
  3. 3. That’s me. The Government Digital Service isright at the heart of the UK government.@nicepaul UK Government
  4. 4. Let’s take a look at some classic British designs…Routemaster bus@nicepaul
  5. 5. Let’s take a look at some classic British designs…London tube map@nicepaul UK Government
  6. 6. Let’s take a look at some classic British designs…Red telephone box@nicepaul
  7. 7. Let’s take a look at some classic British designs…British Rail train@nicepaul
  8. 8. Let’s take a look at some classic British designs…London taxi@nicepaul
  9. 9. Let’s take a look at some classic British designs…Road sign system@nicepaul
  10. 10. Let’s take a look at some classic British designs…Even our sewers...@nicepaul
  11. 11. Public sector web design is a different story.This is the old government site for businesses.@nicepaul UK Government
  12. 12. And the old government site for everyone else.@nicepaul UK Government
  13. 13. Hundreds of old department sites. It wasexpensive, hard to find stuff & hard to use.@nicepaul UK Government
  14. 14. In 2011, 1 in 5 phone callsto government helplineswere as a result of failedonline transactions.@nicepaul UK Government
  15. 15. For one particular digitalservice, each user had tocall the helpline onaverage SEVEN times.@nicepaul UK Government
  16. 16. Improving digital services[and developing in-house]will save £1.7 to £1.8 billionper year.Source: Digital Efficiency Report, 2012 UK Government
  17. 17. “ It’s unacceptable that [with large IT suppliers] changing one line of code in one application could cost up to £50,000. Chris Chant, former G-Cloud Programme Director Source: audio at 8m00s @nicepaul UK Government
  18. 18. 1,700 centralgovernment websitesclosed in 2011/2012.@nicepaul UK Government
  19. 19. In a 2010 report, the UK government’s “Digital Champion” Martha Lane Fox called for revolution, not evolution in online public services.@nicepaul UK Government
  20. 20. Recommending: 1. Create GDS 2. Fix publishing 3. Fix transactions 4. Go wholesale@nicepaul UK Government
  21. 21. “ Single place online for all government services and information “ The Cabinet Office should have absolute control of the user experience across all digital channels Source: Martha Lane Fox’s report UK Government
  22. 22. There are 660 different government services Some obvious ones driver’s licences passports pensions benefits taxes@nicepaul UK Government
  23. 23. Register to voteNot yet online, but would be useful for a hugeaudience so we’re working on it.@nicepaul
  24. 24. Burial at seaOnline service pre-dates GDS, and used only10 times last year! Important to prioritise...@nicepaul
  25. 25. We’re prioritising services to fix, using data UK Government
  26. 26. 25 exemplar servicesWe’re helping teams from departments aroundthe country raise the bar for digital services.@nicepaul UK Government
  27. 27. Private sector digital transactions =Ecommerce@nicepaul
  28. 28. Public sector digital transactions =“Grudge transactions”@nicepaul UK Government
  29. 29. What is the government committing to? UK Government
  30. 30. What came after Martha’s report?Alpha (public) – proof of concept to gain support.@nicepaul UK Government
  31. 31. Beta (public) – first steps towards a live site.@nicepaul UK Government
  32. 32. Released site, autumn 2012.@nicepaul UK Government
  33. 33. Government Digital ServiceDesignPrinciplesBy publishing design principles we’ve changedhow stakeholders think and talk about design.@nicepaul UK Government
  34. 34. Design Principle 1Start with needs* user needs, not government needs@nicepaul UK Government
  35. 35. “ The Government Digital Service is committed to ensuring that, as we reform the delivery of public services, they are designed around the needs of the user rather than, as has been far too often the case in the past, being designed to suit the convenience of the government. Minister for Cabinet Office, speaking in the House of Commons @nicepaul UK Government
  36. 36. Analyse search terms to find what users need.@nicepaul UK Government
  37. 37. The old site wasn’t designed around userneeds, all information was presented equally.@nicepaul UK Government
  38. 38. @nicepaul UK Government
  39. 39. The new site is designed to highlight the mostcommonly needed information.@nicepaul UK Government
  40. 40. @nicepaul UK Government
  41. 41. Design Principle 2Do less@nicepaul UK Government
  42. 42. We shouldn’t give broad advice on specialistsubjects, like this old page about keeping bees.@nicepaul UK Government
  43. 43. Niche topics like how to identify a wave arecovered in more depth by experts elsewhere.@nicepaul UK Government
  44. 44. We needn’t give common sense advice like“wrap up warm or go indoors if you get chilly”@nicepaul UK Government
  45. 45. US gov also closing unnecessary websites to savetaxpayers’ money. Search for
  46. 46. Design Principle 3Design with data@nicepaul UK Government
  47. 47. Don’t assume you know your users. Informalusability testing is better than nothing.@nicepaul UK Government
  48. 48. Your call centres will know exactly whichparts of your website provoke most calls.@nicepaul
  49. 49. Design Principle 4Do the hardwork to makeit simple@nicepaul UK Government
  50. 50. The old site presented complicated policies,left people to work things out for themselves.@nicepaul UK Government
  51. 51. @nicepaul UK Government
  52. 52. The new site asks a few questions and onlygives the information that a user needs.@nicepaul UK Government
  53. 53. @nicepaul UK Government
  54. 54. Being helpful can unwittingly expose informationabout users. Avoid this on high risk services.@nicepaul Example from
  55. 55. Design Principle 5Iterate, theniterate again@nicepaul UK Government
  56. 56. Websites aren’t space rockets, taking years to buildand launch with no hope of changing them later.@nicepaul
  57. 57. Betaiteration 1 @nicepaul UK Government
  58. 58. Betaiteration 2 @nicepaul UK Government
  59. 59. Betaiteration 3 @nicepaul UK Government
  60. 60. Betaiteration 4 @nicepaul UK Government
  61. 61. Site design at launch. More changes to come.Details at: UK Government
  62. 62. Design Principle 6Build forinclusionInclusive design is good design for everyone.@nicepaul UK Government
  63. 63. Those who need government services mostare the most vulnerable & hardest to reach.@nicepaul
  64. 64. Consider content to meet access needs,not just technically accessible websites.@nicepaul
  65. 65. “ In 1997 I retracted the guideline to avoid scrolling pages because users had acclimated to scrolling on the Web. Today, users will scroll. Jakob Neilsen, 2010 But novices haven’t learnt how the web works. Do your own research based on your audience. @nicepaul UK Government
  66. 66. Design Principle 7Understandcontext@nicepaul UK Government
  67. 67. Context isn’t just about responsive design.Think about environments and emotions.@nicepaul
  68. 68. We design for users who are suffering orunder stress. Death, disability, taxes, etc.@nicepaul
  69. 69. Design Principle 8Build digitalservices,not websites@nicepaul UK Government
  70. 70. What can we do digitally to make user’s liveseasier? It’s not just about making websites.@nicepaul
  71. 71. Design Principle 9Be consistent,not uniform@nicepaul UK Government
  72. 72. Create designs consistent with underlyingprinciples, not rigidly constrained by a styleguide.@nicepaul
  73. 73. Guides and resources on how to build goodgovernment services: UK Government
  74. 74. Design Principle 10Make thingsopen (it makesthings better)@nicepaul UK Government
  75. 75. If we give away our code, we’ll be repaid inbetter code. We open source all we build.@nicepaul UK Government
  76. 76. British public sector design projects havealways inspired governments around the world@nicepaul UK Government
  77. 77. London, 1933@nicepaul UK Government
  78. 78. Paris@nicepaul UK Government
  79. 79. Moscow@nicepaul UK Government
  80. 80. Madrid@nicepaul UK Government
  81. 81. Tokyo@nicepaul UK Government
  82. 82. Sydney@nicepaul UK Government
  83. 83. Washington DC@nicepaul UK Government
  84. 84. UK had a mish mash of road signs untilgovernment made them consistent, inspiring…@nicepaul
  85. 85. …Greece@nicepaul
  86. 86. …Australia@nicepaul
  87. 87. …UAE@nicepaul
  88. 88. I’m not saying we always get it right! I’m notsaying GOV.UK is as iconic as these projects.@nicepaul
  89. 89. But with governments visiting us from around the world, maybe we can start a design revolution.@ nicepaulnicepaul @ UK Government
  91. 91. Paul Annett Creative Lead UK Government Digital Service@nicepaul UK Government