Week 54

I started this week picking up a story to make sure ‘recommended links’ (the external links we display for popular search queries) are indexed properly in search in our preview and staging environment. Until now, they weren’t, which meant that search results in preview and staging were skewed compared to the live site. I also spent some time looking at how the entire search index could be easily rebuilt from scratch, as the production index seems to have more documents than it should have - we think they’re old content which weren’t properly removed from the index.

On Tuesday, I went over to a lab in Shoreditch to watch some user research sessions. We asked users of the Charity Commission website to complete some tasks using a prototype GOV.UK organisation page and specialist navigation. It was fascinating, as always, to see how people use GOV.UK, although watching people through a two-way mirror feels a bit Orwellian.

The biggest piece of work I did this week was to allow organisations to be tagged to mainstream GOV.UK content. This means that a page about car tax could be tagged with the DVLA. Right now, we have no plans to surface this to users; rather, this will help us to scope searches by organisation in the future.

I started reading Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ‘72 by Hunter S. Thompson. Matt thought that, as an avid West Wing viewer, I might like it. I’m enjoying getting back into a habit of reading.

I went to see Punchdrunk’s The Drowned Man again on Tuesday. I went with Matt, Becky and David, and again it was superb. As the show draws heavily on some of David Lynch’s works, on Saturday I thought I’d give the pilot of Twin Peaks a watch, and I wasn’t disappointed.