Updating the GDS roadmap for 2021-2022

GDS roadmap, GOV.uk
© Daniil Peshkov

Steph Hazlegreaves, Digital Editor at Open Access Government updates us on the Government Digital Service (GDS) roadmap for 2021-2022 to ensure GOV.UK is accessible and personalised for its users

Back in February this year, the GOV.UK’s public roadmap was relaunched and designed to be a document that can be routinely updated to reflect the priorities for the financial year.

“We’ve been delighted with the response to February’s roadmap relaunch. We’ve been contacted by other public sector organisations and governments, and have had interesting conversations off the back of it.”

In the first of these updates, in line with the GDS strategy for 2021-2022, the roadmap has been altered to ensure that people can learn more about the work being done to build platforms, products and services that help deliver a simple, joined-up and personalised experience to everyone.

Strategic vision

To help implement this strategic vision, Jen Allum, Head of GOV.UK has set out the following five objectives, which the roadmap has now been modified to correspond with:

  1. Always be available, accessible and accurate
  2. Support the government’s priorities of the day
  3. Connect insights across GOV.UK to enable joined-up service delivery
  4. Provide a personalised and proactive services
  5. Be channel agnostic

The objective ‘Always be available, accessible and accurate’ refers to GOV.UK being able to guarantee that it reflects accurate information, is resilient and of visits every day so it is imperative that people do not struggle to access the information they require and can trust government services. In order to achieve this GDS is working on revamping its homepage and navigation across the whole site, alongside optimising in demand content.

Up to date COVID-19 information

Up to date information about Brexit and Coronavirus is crucial to make sure people are aware of what they need to be doing in line with restrictions and policies on a day-to-day basis, therefore, GDS must continue to highlight issues of the day. Under this objective, GDS is also looking at ways to improve how entrepreneurs can discover and access the services they require when starting or sustaining a business.

“Moving to a personalised and proactive service, rather than one where users start from scratch each time they come to GOV.UK, is a big focus of our work”

As part of the design update, links to blog posts on individual roadmap items have been added, as well as links to the latest strategy blog posts and the recruitment page. In response to an increase in sharing the roadmap, social media buttons have also been inserted to the page.

Objective number three ‘Connect insights across GOV.UK to enable joined-up service delivery’ focuses on data usage. Data provides insight into what is and isn’t working, allowing GDS to enhance policy, content and services for its users, whilst ensuring data privacy is always in mind. One of these projects involves developing a single sign-on for all services for those who need it, as well as a one-click option to complete forms using information about the user that is already registered. Another would allow users to edit the information the government holds about them which would update across all departments.

A trial of a GOV.UK Account has been run since November 2020 to explore how a more personalised proactive experience can be provided and, over the next 12 months, GDS hope to advance the work already being done here to expand it across more services. This will give users full control over their data and identity checking services will be made to work for everyone regardless of their socio-economic situation, for example, if they do not have a fixed address.

Making sure content can be accessed via a multitude of channels other than the GOV.UK website alone is also a top priority, whether it be through a search engine, voice assistant or other. To do this, GDS has implemented schema.org to make certain that content can be used elsewhere, and they will continue to work alongside third parties over the coming months to explore ways in which users can find what they need, when they need on any desired device or channel.

GDS careers

To support this ambitious strategy, GDS is currently hiring researchers to plan, design and carry out activities to aid delivery teams to gain a deeper understanding of the type of people that use government services.

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Open Access Government
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