Week 21

We released a lot of search improvements this week. Roo wrote a bit more detail about the changes. We had a really useful retrospective to talk about the good things from the last seven weeks, and the things which we didn’t think went so well. Mazz and I have been doing some more work on an improved search algorithm, preparing it to be rolled out in the next week or two.

I fixed a bug on Monday for the infrequent case where a local authority for a given postcode does not have a ‘snac’ code. This issue usually arises from a lack of data (give the postcode 'SAN TA1’ a try), and until this week it would send the user to a 404 page. The changes mean that we now show a friendlier message to the user when this happens, and point them to the local council directory as an alternative step.

We had our monthly all-staff meeting on Thursday morning at the Royal College of Surgeons. I particularly enjoyed colleagues from the DVLA talking about their exemplar projects (along with a few screenshots too).

Later this week, I’ve been working in Publisher to support the smart answer builder which Jack and others have been building. It’s quite a big piece of work and it’s likely to run through a lot of next week, but once it’s done it will pave the way for building Publisher-driven smart answers on GOV.UK.

And next week, I’m heading out to Dublin for the Digital Agenda Assembly, and where we’ll be having the second meeting of the Young Advisors Group.

Aside from work this week, I’m giving the iOS 7 beta a try on my iPhone. My first impressions have been pretty good - so many interactions feel a lot more natural than on iOS 6. I’ve also been experimenting with a bit of iOS development.