This blog may seem a bit out of date, but with Get online week, and a diary chock full of meetings, I’ve not yet had time to blog about the launch of GOV.UK. The new website – a replacement for Directgov, but with an understated blue palette instead of orange – launched two weeks ago after spending a long time in both alpha and beta stages.
Some have said that, colour schemes aside, the website isn’t really that different from its predecessor, but I don’t agree – especially as the user has been put at the very heart of the site. It has been tested with a number of different groups – including UK online centres and their learners – to ensure that the needs of the least skilled and least confident internet users are taken into account.
The migration of government services online is never going to be universally popular, and it’s pretty clear that people without current skills and confidence will need face-to-face local support to gain them, as well as websites that are clutter-free, easy-to-use and work the way they should do.
But the government’s position of embracing the user is a massively positive one and it’s even more positive that the process is ongoing and always improving. It’s my job now to make sure the needs of the most vulnerable users are at the forefront when building services like these, and we all must see the value of grassroots community support so everyone, and I mean everyone, can use them.