Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Data-driven design at Gov.UK

Last night I was lucky enough to hear Russell Davies of the Government Digital Service (GDS) talk about how they re-worked the UK government's websites, at a Google Firestarters event.

The GDS's websites process 1.3 billion transactions (inc queries, I think) across 660 services, so designing and running the websites is clearly very challenging - or as he'd put it, 'it's not complicated, it's just hard'

One example that I loved was how they re-designed the page that shows bank holidays.  Previously the page listed all of the bank holidays throughout the year, but analysis of the search data showed that what the majority of people wanted to know was the date of the next one.

So they redesigned the page to show that prominently, and list the other information below that.

A lot of people talk about data analysis and using this to make decisions, but this is a perfect and simple example of it in action.

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