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…)
We are often asked to put content in Frequently Asked Question format (FAQs). They’re a popular convention on the web, but we don’t recommend them and here’s why:
In the past few weeks, a small team in the Government Digital Service has been working to make significant improvements to site search on GOV.UK.
When GOV.UK came out of beta in October 2012, replacing the Directgov and Business Link websites, there were around 3,800 pieces of content. Six months on, and the bringing together of information from 24 departments and 31 agencies has added around 52,000 additional documents. In that time, it’s become even harder for users to find what they’re looking for using site search on GOV.UK. And our analytics data and user feedback have consistently told us that search simply hasn’t been good enough. Time for some improvements.
Here’s what we’ve done in the past couple of months.
Hens and chickens, or breeders and meat?
Part of a GDS content designer’s role is to choose the best words to explain what a web page is trying to say. It’s got to be easy to understand, simple to find and, it goes without saying, useful. Working on GOV.UK throws extra challenges into this mix. (more…)
We’ve already written about how we’ve worked to identify user needs for GOV.UK, so now I’d like to explain a bit more about what happens next – how does a need become published content or a tool on the site? (more…)