Week 88

First week notes of the year. Happy new year!

This month, GOV.UK is having a ‘firebreak’. I’m not sure where the name came from, but it’s a really great idea. Most of us have downed tools for a month and are spending the time fixing tech debt, testing parts of our infrastructure and prototyping some new ideas. This week, I’ve been working with Mark, Charlotte, Vicky and Gaynor. We’ve been exploring how we can better model services on GOV.UK.

At the moment, content on GOV.UK is collected together in buckets of vaguely related things, such as this browse page about having children. We currently don’t connect up all the content for a single service (eg. child tax credits), nor do we provide a high-level view of all the services which you might need as you go through a particular phase in life (eg. childcare).

We want to make this better. We first looked at all the mainstream content on GOV.UK relating to childcare and organised it into the phase at which a user would need the content (from pregnancy to schools). I then tried experimenting with a few different models for an individual service, using content about child benefit and child maintenance. Mark made it a bit simpler and we arrived on this model.

This was actually my final week on the GOV.UK team. From next week, I’m going to be working on the Transformation team at GDS, working with other departments building services. Due to sensitivity around the project I’m working on, I think it’s going to be difficult to carry on writing week notes, but I’ll see how it goes.

It was sad to see a few people leave GDS this week. Ralph, Camille and Steve L are all moving on - they’ll be missed. Wishing all of you the best for whatever you’re doing next.