When it comes to improving our offering, looking at what people search for on GOV.UK is one of the best ways we can understand what you want from government information. The search box allows you to articulate what you want in your own words – and this data is easy to interpret, unlike a lot of the number-based metrics. (more…)
Several GOV.UK makers have given the team advice, covering everything from department directory data to the entire GOV.UK scope (well done Ross Ferguson and Lisa Scott for summarising this in a couple of paragraphs!). The NZ team have also scoured our blog, the Government Digital Strategy, the Government Service Design Manual, and any other bits of guidance we could provide. They’ve researched the strategies behind government sites around the world, and GDS gets a special mention on their preview site.
The most obvious GOV.UK influence is on the design – and with GDS’s policy of coding in the open they were able to use our front-end code. Recycling our work has enabled them to save huge amounts of time, and a considerable amount of money. Initial user research revealed that 70% of people like the design or have a neutral opinion, which is a great result for a new release.
We’re looking forward to sharing more work and user-feedback in the future, so we can improve sites for citizens in New Zealand and in Britain.
The search engine optimisation landscape is changing. As I have blogged previously, we are doing our best to make sure we use the same search terms as our users to make content easier to find. Now that Directgov and Business Link are no more, and GOV.UK has shaken off its beta-warning shackles, it’s time to see if we’ve achieved this.
A few months ago I wrote about how we’re using search analytics and SEO (or Search Engine Optimisation for all the non-robots out there) to make sure that people get the right answer quickly when they look for government information using search engines. Well, the SEO landscape has changed recently, and the work being done to make GOV.UK good from a user perspective also helps our content to rank well in external search results.
At GDS we’re using search data to inform every aspect of content production. It’s no dry data analysis though, search logs reveal surprising insights about what people really want. Lana Gibson, Product Analyst at GDS, explains how understanding search behaviour is the root of all good content, and how our search-based approach helps people find trusted government information over content that doesn’t deliver.