The UK Government Digital Service has released a new version of its gov.uk portal that aims to make it easier for citizens, businesses and researchers to gain access to services and information from the government.
The new website features more content and services catering to businesses, including information on starting up a new businesses, tools for self-employed individuals, and financial information for companies, with intellectual property references.
It also includes tools for non-residents, which allows them to ascertain whether they are have the right to work in the country. Other business tools include trademark registration, license finding, and helping employers who are recruiting for the very first time.
The website is a beta version that has undergone several revisions since its inception in January this year based on comments from internet users. It features a consistent user interface with typography that was designed to align with the country’s street fonts.
The customer support system for the site is could-hosted, with integrated social media support. The system is designed to classify and channel inbound customer queries from all sources to the relevant officials within the government. Cloud pricing is tied to number of such officials who use the system, rather than on the volume of inbound queries. The system includes a social media keyword analytics tool and statistical services.
The GDS has also drafted an editorial style guide, on which public feedback is being sought. The aim of the guide, according to Sarah Richards, Content Design Lead, Delivery, Government Digital Services, UK, is to give “a consistent feel across the whole site” and “about writing clearly, concisely and without jargon”. The guide aims to:
1. explain acronyms and abbreviations;
2. make mandatory action explicit to users; and
3. communicate with a diverse audience simply, according to the website.