Government Digital Service (GDS)
Building a better GOV.UK, step by step
The 'Apply for your first provisional driving licence' step by step navigation page
Since GOV.UK launched 6 years ago it has been the home of government’s online content and the starting point for online services.
Every week millions of people use GOV.UK to do complex and sometimes life-changing tasks, such as learning to drive, registering a birth or starting a business.
We want to make these tasks as easy as possible - by making content simple and user journeys intuitive. This is good for users because it makes it quicker to get things done. And it’s good for government because it reduces unnecessary contact and casework.
Why we need to look at end to end services
We know users face challenges carrying out tasks. There’s a lot of information to find for a start. Depending on the task, there might be appointments to book, forms to fill in, applications to be made and tests to take.
And what makes this even harder is that each step needs to be done at the right time and in the right order.
That’s why government needs to look at every step of this task. From the first thing the user does, to the last thing they need to do. We need to look at services from end to end.
The difficulty government faces when trying to make this easier is that people’s real-world tasks do not always fit neatly with the way government is organised into departments and agencies.
For example, a business wanting to hire their first employee needs information and services from 5 different areas of government before they can hire them:
|Step||Government department or agency|
|Check you can afford to take on an employee||Department for Work and Pensions|
|Register as an employer||HM Revenue and Customs|
|Check a potential employee’s right to work in the UK||Home Office|
|Check a potential employee’s criminal record||Disclosure and Barring Service|
|Set up a pension scheme||The Pensions Regulator|
Organising GOV.UK by topic and task
Rather than organise GOV.UK around the structure of government, we’ve been working to organise content around user needs at scale. So, rather than being organised by department, content on GOV.UK is now organised into a single site-wide system of user-centred topics.
This topic structure will power new ways to search and browse the site, making things much easier to find.
But we want to go further – we want to make things easier to do.
So about a year ago we started experimenting with a new way for users to navigate GOV.UK. These experiments evolved into what we now call step by step navigation.
Latest News from
Government Digital Service (GDS)
Podcast: Open standards, emerging technology and the government of the future15/11/2018 09:10:00
In the second GDS podcast, senior writer Sarah Stewart talks to Terence Eden, Open Standards Lead at the Government Digital Service.
How we’re developing an innovation strategy for government12/11/2018 14:25:00
Blog posted by: Izzy Watson, 9 November 2018 – Categories: Digital, GovTech.
GOV.UK Notify wins Civil Service Operational Excellence Award12/11/2018 12:25:00
The team that runs GOV.UK Notify, GDS’s notifications platform used across the public sector, has won the Operational Excellence Award in this year’s Civil Service Awards.
Digital Marketplace turns 4: what we've achieved09/11/2018 14:33:00
Blog posted by: Warren Smith, 6 November 2018 – Categories: Digital Marketplace.
Take part in the first Services Week02/11/2018 15:20:00
Blog posted by: Martin Jordan, 2 November 2018 – Categories: Events, Service design, Service standard, Services Programme.
Digital transformation: from cinema to government29/10/2018 16:15:00
Blog posted by: Fiona Deans, 26 October 2018 – Categories: GDS team, Transformation.
GDS Academy: Expanding our international reach with the Canadian government23/10/2018 11:10:00
Blog posted by: Beverley Smith, 22 October 2018 – Categories: People and skills, Ways of working.
Taking GOV.UK Verify to the next stage12/10/2018 14:10:00
Blog posted by: Kevin Cunnington, 11 October 2018 – Categories: Digital, GDS team, GOV.UK Verify and identity assurance, Government as a Platform, Transformation