This week at GDS

Mike Beaven gives the latest news on the Transformation programme work going on at the Home Office, Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) and DWP (Department for Work & Pensions). Lots of GDS people are speaking at events this week, including Structure Europe, EPIC2013, Monitorama and Webexpo, and on Thursday Richard Perez, Director of the 2014 World Design Capital Cape Town, will be visiting us at Aviation House.

Transcript below


Hello Mike. How are you doing?

Mike Beaven:

Hi there. Not too bad, thank you.


What have we been up to at GDS this week?


Some interesting stuff going on in the world of Transformation. Home Office have a great Visit Visa alpha which they did earlier this year, which really does something that we’ve not seen before, which enables the user experience to be built dynamically, based on the type of visa someone’s applying for. We’ve been very happy with the alpha, and the beta build of that starts this week, so that’s exciting. As a side, we’ve actually taken that product and made a generic version of it for use by all the departments, so that’s a really good example of reuse of some of the things we’re developing with departments. That’s probably our most exciting one.

Also, we’ve got a couple of discoveries coming to a conclusion, one of which is the waste carriers permits, which doesn’t sound that exciting, but gives you the licence to do everything from clearing rubble from a building site to disposing of nuclear waste, so quite important; the other one is personal independence payments, which is the replacement for disability living allowance.

Other Transformation news also: HMRC (HM Revenue and Customs) wrote a digital strategy last year. We’ve been doing exemplar projects with them for some nine months, now, so we’re having a review and a reset of that in conjunction with GDS. That relaunched today, and that work will be happening up until about the end of October.

Then in other news, we’ve been doing some interesting work with BIS (Department for Business, Innovation & Skills) around the business usage of the GOV.UK site. We’re looking at some of the products on there, like the finance support finder, browse, content and employing people and setting up a new business, so a whole load of user-focused research on that.


Several members of the team are out this week giving talks.


Yes we are; we’re out there spreading the love. Firstly, Sarah (Richards), Lisa (Reichelt) and Janet (Hughes) are out talking around the whole world of user research, and then James Stewart is at Cloud Conference, talking about the Digital by Default standard on Thursday.


In turn, we’ve got a couple of visitors to GDS.


Yes, we have. A really interesting one; there’s a chap called Richard Perez, who’s representing Cape Town. For those of you who don’t know, Cape Town will be the World Design Capital for 2014. So, similar to other great cultural and sporting events, there’s one for design and Richard is the director of that event, so he’s visiting Ben Terrett and his team to look at what we do here.


Finally as ever, some new starters this week.


Yes, this week we have Khadeja (Al Harbi), who’s joining the Digital Inclusion team, which is growing nicely as that work spins up into life.


Terrific. Until next time.


Thank you very much.

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