It’s all too easy to get caught up in the excitement of launching a new site full of interesting new stuff. If you’re not careful, you can miss the bigger picture. You can get lost in the wondrous geekiness of it all.
So, as much for myself as anyone else, here’s a reminder as to why it’s so critical that gov.uk offers UK citizens the best possible digital experience.
The numbers are startling. If people who are not yet online can be tempted into doing just one of their (typical) 4 or 5 monthly Government transactions online, then that would save the Government – and hence taxpayers – about £1bn each year. That’s a big number.
But, equally important, a gov.uk which is so good, so simple, so hassle-free that it actually encourages people who are not online to get online will save them hundreds of pounds per year – think price comparison sites, cheap online offers etc. And many of those who are not yet online are people for whom savings hundreds of pounds can make a huge difference. (PWC’s estimate is a saving of £560 per household per year.)
Shifting Government services to being digital by default would save everyone time, money and unfathomable bucketloads of hassle.
So making gov.uk as simple as possible really matters. It needs to be so good people actively prefer it to offline alternatives, so much so that they recommend it to friends and family who are not yet online.
Lecture over. Back to the code.