Scroll content designers at the heart of GOV.UK

Summary

Scroll associates have been heavily involved in much of the work on the GOV.UK website and other Government Digital Service (GDS) projects since June 2012. 

The challenge

The challenge was enormous. In 2012, the UK government’s information was published on hundreds of different websites, in hundreds of different styles, with varying degrees of accuracy, relevance and duplication.

Government Digital Service (GDS), with the help of a number of Scroll associates (up to a dozen at any one time), set out to change that. The process included:

  • migrating all government content to a single website
  • taking a user-centric approach, where all content is based on user need (not government need)
  • applying a radical new style guide based on plain English

The solution

Along with civil servants from GDS and various departments, Scroll associates undertook the work of transitioning content to GOV.UK, reshaping it based on user needs and the GOV.UK style guide.  They worked both at GDS centrally and embedded with government departments.

This whole approach was new to government. Scroll content designers had to provide the digital expertise and stakeholder management skills necessary to engage with, persuade, reassure and enthuse civil servants, policy makers, communications and digital teams at all levels.

This process required diplomacy, editorial confidence and high levels of judgment, which are all traits that Scroll seeks and actively cultivates in its associates.

Scroll associates worked on the information that can affect every one of us – such as claiming maternity leave, applying for Lasting Power of Attorney, doing your tax returns, or registering to vote.

300+ websites moved to 1 in 15 months.

GDS’s work saved the UK government around £200 million in 2013 to 2014

Setting the standard for government digital around the world

Results

GOV.UK is now a global exemplar for government content. It’s inspired other governments – including the US, New Zealand and Australia – to follow suit.

It sets the standard for the government’s policy of ‘digital by default’ – making digital services so good that UK citizens prefer to use them.

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