GOV.UK beta day 1- your feedback acted upon

We said we’d be iterative, so here’s a list of all the changes we’ve made since the release last night. Most of these things went live at 3pm today – largely based on your feedback – so keep it coming!

(So you know – we’ve had 80 actionable comments via Twitter, 75 from Get Satisfaction and 90 via the email address.)

1. We’ve added a sitemap.xml file which was missing from our original release. Google need this to index the site properly, they should be happily indexing away right now.

2. The thing we’re proudest of – we’ve made the smartphone experience of the site quite a bit better since last night – because lots of you asked for it. The places you’ll notice the biggest improvements are on the homepage and all the guides. We’ve also turned off autocomplete and moved the ‘related’ box to the bottom of the page on smartphones. Big thanks to James Weiner, Frances Berriman and Josh Marshall for working on this today and getting it sorted quickly.

Iphone 4 using the mobile guide

Nokia e72 showing an optimised header

3. We’ve enabled json endpoints for search results. This means the site is machine readable for those who want to re-use the content under the Open Government License.Thanks to @harrym for suggesting this.

4. We’ve fixed errors related to kml (which is for location and mapping)

5. We’ve updated the copy on the inheritance quick answer to include information about descendants of grandchildren.

6. The bank holiday page tells you the date of the next bank holiday in big type, we’ve amended this so it also tells you the name of the holiday.

7. We’ve also been fixing the occasional typo and errant piece of punctuation. And we’ve updated bits of content such as:

In the ‘Parliament and MPs’ guide we’ve refined the list of political parties represented at Parliament to remove a duplicate.

We’ve changed the title of the ‘Student finance 2011-12‘ guide for consistency with the ‘Student finance 2012-13‘ guide.

Thanks very much for  all the feedback we’ve had so far. More changes to come..

17 comments

  1. Such a massive project, been tracking progress ever since I heard what was going on from Paul Annett (last years wdc in Bristol) was so intrigued and excited by it. Would love to work on such a project in the future. Great job guys.

  2. This is the epitome of government responsiveness. May I ask about the size of your staff that is dedicated to gov.uk? Can you tell us a little about the resources behind the project?

    Many citizens fault government for being so behind the curve and for taking so long to get things done. Understandably so, but most governments don’t allocate the needed resources to their online presence and services. Most government websites are run by one person with many other duties. Certainly not at the level of gov.uk, so that’s why I’d love to know more about the staff and budget resources behind this endeavor.

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  4. it seems to me very helpeful and nice improvments have been made, i would like to hav on the new design the A to Z index, i think it is very good tool, i use it a lot,
    many thanks for your efforts,

  5. I may have missed it but the driving section should be split for Drivers and Vehicles. and also provide DVLA contact details up front so that we can contact DVLA. The email webform service that DVLA provides is very good and the Gov website should reflect this but having a dedicated split of Vehicles and Drivers information. Also the forms and leflets should be split and in form number order so that they are easy to find and print off. The links in your information are good but there should be a dedicated list of the forms in form and leaflet number order. From what I have noticed the Drivers and Vehicles information are mixed together and you need to scroll down many questions to get to the one you may need.

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