digital by default

The search is over … almost!

Analysing searches to make GOV.UK better

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…)

Getting up to Standard

The Government Digital Strategy says that all new or redesigned digital services will meet the Digital by Default Service Standard from April 2014. Before then, GDS is using the standard to support the Cabinet Office spending controls, to deepen knowledge of the standard across government, and to identify areas where we can support departments in building their digital capability.

We’ve now started to carry out assessments against the standard. I want to explain how and why we’re doing these, and how you can request an assessment for your service.

The 26 articles of the Digital by Default Service Standard were published alongside the Government Service Design Manual a few weeks ago. Formal assessments of new and redesigned services against the standard will begin from April 2014, however, it’s important we start using the standard as early as possible. Partly because it gives the teams building services time to get up to speed with the requirements, and also because it will give us feedback that we can use to fine-tune the standard over the course of the year, and improve the guidance we offer through the manual.

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Setting the standard

Last month was a really important one for the Digital by Default Service Standard. We launched our beta for one thing. Just as importantly, the Digital Leaders network – the people responsible for driving the digital agenda across government – agreed to the standard and the governance process for assessing services against it. (more…)

Beating performance anxiety

One of the most important objectives for the Digital by Default Service Standard project was setting out a consistent way of measuring service performance. Why? Because all too often, there has been no shared understanding of how concepts like ‘customer satisfaction’ or even ‘cost per transaction’ are measured in government – which makes data-driven decision making difficult.

We wanted to create a set of measures that would help service managers to monitor and improve the performance of government services over time. Specifically, service managers need to be able to measure progress in three areas: improving the user’s experience of the service, reducing running costs, and shifting people towards using the digital channel.

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Of the web, not on the web

Today we announced some small but important changes in governance. The detail is here but the upshot is: we won’t have a cross-government Chief Information Officer (CIO) any more, nor a Head of Profession for Information and Communications Technology (ICT). We are moving responsibility for these capabilities to the Government Digital Service and we are closing some cross-government boards in various technology areas and reviewing the rest in order to make sure we are set up as efficiently as possible.

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An introduction to Assisted Digital

There are an estimated 9.2 million adults in the UK who have never used the internet; many of these are among the more vulnerable and disadvantaged in our society including:

  • 31% of those earning less than £10,400 per annum
  • 55% of those who have no qualifications
  • 60% of those aged over 65

Read more about assisted digital