Government Digital Service (GDS)
Service Toolkit: everything you need to build a service in one place
We’ve just launched the new Service Toolkit. It’s a single page that brings together all the things that are available to help teams building government services.
We recently published the latest iteration of the Service Manual to give teams guidance on how to build great services. Now we’ve launched the Service Toolkit to give them quick access to the resources they need.
We carried out user research with people who use GDS resources and identified these high-level needs:
- people building government services need to find guidance easily and know that it’s up to date so they build a service to the current Digital Service Standard
- they need their work to be consistent with other UK public services so that users trust the service and are familiar with how it works
- they need to find out the best way to solve a problem and not waste time duplicating work someone else has already done
There are resources available that can help with this. But that won't help unless service teams know about them.
As one user told us: “I would like a much more simple way of understanding what things GDS has that can be used for my services.”
Having one page that hosts all these resources is a very simple way of doing this.
Building with the Government as a Platform principle
The Service Toolkit currently features links to:
- standards: the Digital Service Standard, the Technology Code of Practice and the Service Manual
- design and style resources: design principles, design patterns, reusable frontend code, the GOV.UK Prototype Kit and the style guide
- components to design and build services: GOV.UK Notify, GOV.UK Pay, GOV.UK Verify, GOV.UK Platform as a Service and Registers – open data sets that a service can consume to perform a task
- service data: the Performance Platform
- buying resource: the Digital Marketplace
All these resources have been built so that they can be used again and again and follow the Government as a Platform principles, which include meeting a common need and making things easy for the user.
Resources that reflect the Government as a Platform principles are not only provided by GDS, so over time the toolkit will expand to include contributions from the rest of government.
We’re developing ways for people to contribute to the resources in the Service Toolkit. For example, we already create content in the Service Manual in collaboration with cross-government communities. And we’re looking at setting up a model for collecting design systems across government.
Where there are contributed resources, we will ensure that they go through a rigorous assurance process so that users can rely on them.
Building a single page to host all of these resources is only part of the work we’re doing. We also need to ensure that people know about the new Service Toolkit and can access it easily.
We know that most people currently go directly to the tool or component that they need to use. So as much as possible we’re linking back from these resources to the Service Toolkit. For example we’ll be introducing breadcrumbs on product pages that link back to the toolkit.
We’re also developing a set of new product pages. This will give service teams a consistent experience when they want to find out more about the different tools and components available to them. We’re rolling this out across the resources, starting with Notify.
The Service Toolkit will be a fundamental part of all digital training – such as service manager training – so that everyone who needs to use it is aware of it.
Improving the page
We’ve developed the Service Toolkit based on user research, but there are a few questions we can only answer with further feedback.
For example, we need to make sure that the page’s purpose and proposition is immediately clear to users. And we need to make sure our content is structured in the best way.
So we will iterate the toolkit based on what our users tell us.
We’d love to know what you think about it. Please let us know by commenting on this post or using the ‘Is there anything wrong with this page?’ link at the bottom of the Service Toolkit page.
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