Skip to the content

GDS plans more flexibility for GOV.UK Notify

Drawing of smartphone, laptop and letter
Image source: GOV.UK, OpenGovernment Licence v3.0

The Government Digital Service (GDS) is planning to give public sector organisations more flexibility in using the GOV.UK Notify platform for sending messages.

It said it plans to provide more scope for individual branding, add new features and move to a new hosting provider.

The moves are included in a product strategy for the platform’s growth with three broad goals.

One is to scale up operations through steps such as allowing organisations to set their own branding for emails and letters, complete basic tasks such as changing authentication methods without GDS support, and allowing users with special organisational permissions to make services live.

These will be accompanied by moving to a new hosting provider as GOV.UK Platform as a Service will be decommissioned by the end of this year.

The second goal is to improve features to retain existing users, which will involve providing more features such as better support for Welsh language users, additional formatting and making it possible to send emails through Notify from outside the domain. There are also plans to improve reporting and data capabilities, and provide a competitive price for SMS notifications within the GDS technical, performance and security requirements.

Discoveries and explorations

Third is to attract new users in high volume central government teams and among those with low or no access to digital capabilities. This could include mini-discoveries and explorations into new functions such as integrations with other channels and GDS products – such as GOV.UK Forms – and more complex two-way communication.

GDS indicated that it will halt work in areas where its explorations show there is little or no value.

It reported that the use of the platform – used to send emails, texts and letters to service users – since its launch in 2016 has grown to 7,343 services among 1,488 organisations.

Notify lead product manager Irina Pencheva said: “This strategy is based on what we know now. We will continue to iterate and adapt it based on what we discover.”

Register For Alerts

Keep informed - Get the latest news about the use of technology, digital & data for the public good in your inbox from UKAuthority.