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GDS aims to improve Government as a Platform usability



Digital team works on new documentation format and services toolkit

The Government Digital Service (GDS) is aiming to upgrade the design and usability of the technical documentation format and services toolkit within the Government as a Platform programme.

It has carried out some user research on the issues and begun to look for consultancy support in a project to improve the experience for users of the documentation. It wants the contractor to work with one of its own content and interaction designers on a technical solution based on existing pages and technologies.

Among its priorities are to improve the document search function, make it possible to provide documents over several pages rather than one long page, add a section for API reference information and create an API explorer integration.

These should help technical architects and developers understand the suitability of the platforms offered by GDS and how to integrate them into individual services.

Encourage usage

It is the latest step in the Government as a Platform programme, under which GDS has developed a handful of platforms under the GOV.UK banner that can be used by public authorities in their own digital services. An effort to improve their usability is related to the campaign to increase their usage throughout government.

GOV.UK Notify is now being used by 66 organisations for 166 services in different parts of the public sector, while GOV.UK Pay is being used by a handful of central government departments and the Office of the Public Guardian.

The highest profile platform, GOV.UK Verify for online identity assurance, has been picked up by a number of central government bodies, but its roll out has been slower than originally planned, leading to speculation about the prospects for the programme’s success.

Image from iStock

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