Finally, the wraps are off the latest version of the new Government website. Yes, it’s a Beta and yes, it is far from complete in terms of design or content.
But, and forgive me for sounding so gushing, already it is a thing of wonder.
Not because of the technology, or even the tools it now offers (although I am reliably informed by a young mother and someone who plans Bank Holidays months in advance that these are good too).
The real win, as far as I am concerned, is that it demonstrates how websites in the public sector can be delivered: iteratively, efficiently and completely focussed on the audience.
Web teams in central Government and the NHS could learn an awful lot from this. The GDS blog is very transparent about their approach since day one.
I am very excited about the things the new website is not promising to deliver any time soon. The things that can’t demonstrate a need from the audience. Nor is the Government Digital Service going to try and sort out conflicts between different parts of Government, or overlaps in policy areas. As I’ve said before (inspired by GDS and @hmshale) these things are not for websites to solve.
Anyway, its easy for digital people to gush about projects from other digital people. The real test will be from those young mothers, car owners, bank holiday fanatics and people generally doing the things we all need to do online from time to time.
Anyone can feed back and I urge you to do so: https://www.gov.uk/feedback
And don’t take my word for it. Here’s what the Financial Times has to say.