The UK government have just launched launched the beta of their GOV.UK site, which is the first step towards creating a single website for information on public services and will eventually replace Directgov, which launched in 2004. The beta stage invites users feedback on whether it’s more efficient and easier to navigate than Directgov, as well as suggestions on how it can be made more user-friendly.

So, What’s Awesome About It?

  • Better design. Not only is it less orange, the prominence of searching, categories and popular links in the design make it much easier to find what you’re looking for (reducing time taken to complete a task by a third). They’ve even included a handy tour of the new site to help unfamiliar users, as well as showcasing the UI improvements.
  • It’s open source. We’re big fans of open source at Delib. The code for GOV.UK is available on Github.
  • The integration of geo-tools. The new site allows users to set their location so the site can be customised to show information about local services.
  • It’s predicted to save public money. The Financial Times has reported that millions could be saved if the new site can help reduce the calls to government call centres, which cost an average of £6.28 each. Better service + less cost = win for government.

With some further usability tweaks which feedback from the beta will provide, GOV.UK will (hopefully) become an example of how to provide a user-friendly and cost-efficient online hub of information about public services which can be adopted by other governments. It’s also nice to see the UK government leading the way 😀

The GDS team (the team who built the service) are looking for feedback on how the site can be improved, which can be provided through Twitter or via email.

What is the GOV.UK beta Slideshare