A new phase for .gov
Zone's financial controller Nic Mendoza muses on the launch of GOV.UK...
Two weeks ago Zone’s editorial director Matt Simpson spoke at Cool Content Coming Soon. As part of the Brighton-based digital festival, the Zone-sponsored event brought together leaders in digital content to share ideas and work.
Fellow presenter Paul Annett spoke about GOV.UK and his work on the new government platform, launching officially on 17 October. As Zone’s financial controller I am very eager to see it implemented, as negotiating the clunky HMRC website can be baffling at the best of times.
The new design of GOV.UK promises to simplify accessing online data and resources, and to streamline the complex administrative processes most businesses must negotiate.
Previously spread across multiple domains, government sites were managed by different teams. To give you some idea of how sprawling this was, digital expert Martha Lane-Fox found an astonishing 920 separate websites when she performed her review of the government’s online presence.
Where in the past, many small businesses struggled to interpret how new statutes passed by Parliament would affect them, GOV.UK will change things. Lessening the need to rely on accountants and lawyers relaying public material, GOV.UK aims to help people find government services and information online in an easy-to-understand environment.
With a £1.7m budget, this project has been launched to make government online services fit for the future. The iterative design process and encouragement for public feedback bodes well. And as leaders in user experience, we’re delighted that the government has realised the importance of online design and putting the user at the heart of this.
The more easily businesses are able to educate themselves about legal requirements around tax, employment law and all things accounting, the easier it should be for them to adhere to processes. Equally, it should become easier for the state to track and control things such as tax receipts or business information.
Digital has served a great purpose for the UK government in helping them to connect with small and medium-size enterprises. Finally, it looks like they may have got the process sorted.