Government Digital Service is radically changing the way public sector services are delivered. In doing so, the relationship between Government, service and citizen will no longer be the same. The chief broker in this relationship is the GOV.UK site which acts as the principal point of contact for citizens to interact with the UK Government.
Prior to GOV.UK, the government was frequently experiencing two million searches per month across its over thousand websites, all of which had a very different look and navigation. GDS’ mission is to provide the best possible user experience for citizens, and they intended doing so by bringing together all the disparate departmental sites into a single, easy to use platform.
In October 2012, GDS’ flagship product, GOV.UK came to life. In addition to saving GBP 70 million through merging the websites, GOV.UK is the UK’s first major public website leveraging cloud infrastructure.
Continuous delivery has helped move deployment cycles from once every two months to seven times a day. In its first year, more than 1,500 application changes have been released to GOV.UK. Due to its tremendous success, this cloud-first approach is now spreading across UK Public Sector departments. As all code is published online it is also open to other governments across the world who are able to benefit from GDS’ bold thinking and delivery.
A year on, GOV.UK has 1000 publishers using the platform and six million unique visitors every week.