GOV.UK redesign aims to improve mobile experience with focus on ‘topic-based browsing’

Written by Sam Trendall on 9 August 2022 in News
News

Update to site is intended to better serve mobile users – who now constitute two thirds of traffic

 

Credit: StockSnap/Pixabay

Government has launched a redesigned version of its core GOV.UK website that is intended to better serve mobile users and enable citizens to more easily browse by topic.

The GOV.UK home and menu bars – which list 16 core topics, such as benefits, driving and transport, money and tax, and disabled people – have not been changed. But, once a user clicks on a topic, they are now presented with a grid page displaying further options; for the disabled people page, for example, this includes sub-topics such as carers, equipment and transport, and benefits and financial support.

This information was previously presented in three columns fanning out from left to right and overlapping. 

According to Sam Dub, GOV.UK product lead at Government Digital Service, while this menu design “worked well on desktop, its benefits did not translate onto mobile – which is how two thirds of users now experience GOV.UK”.

The updated site (picture below, next to the outgoing design) directs users to a new page each time they click on an option, until they reach the service or information they are seeking. 

Dub claimed that the ultimate aim of the sharpened focus on topic-based browsing is to improve site navigation, and thereby “make it easier for the millions of people who use GOV.UK every day to find the essential information and services they need”.

“While some users will use search to find information… we know that many users on GOV.UK prefer to browse through the site, particularly if they are unfamiliar with a topic, don’t know what to search for, or want to see everything available to them,” he said.

The outgoing layout also contained “several hard-to-fix accessibility problems” which the revamp has helped to address by “simplifying the experience for users of screen readers and people who magnify the page”, he said.

“The new design also significantly increases the size of touch targets, the area of the page you need to tap to follow a link,” Dub added. “We’ve seen this improve the overall mobile experience, especially on smaller phone screens, and can be particularly helpful for people with a tremor or motor impairment.”

The new-look GOV.UK launched last week, following a period of testing in which half of visitors to GOV.UK were presented with the new version, and the other half with the previous design.

The results showed that the update delivered an improvement to what Dub said was GDS’s “key performance indicator”: clickthrough rate, which increased from 61.6% to 65.1%.

Further A/B testing will take place over the coming weeks, with 50% visitors sub-topic pages presented with “expanding sections” and the other half seeing a display featuring “dividers”.

 

About the author
Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology. He can be reached on sam.trendall@dodsgroup.com.

Share this page

Tags

Categories

CONTRIBUTIONS FROM READERS

Please login to post a comment or register for a free account.

Related Articles

HMRC lifts lid on £200m programme to achieve data-protection compliance
27 September 2022

Recently released information provides details of three-year project to minimise risk and improve use of data

PM urged to retain departmental planning and monitoring system
16 September 2022

Recently introduced ODP framework requires departments to set out digital transformation and innovation objectives – and measures their progress

Graduate scheme to impart digital skills to future NI Civil Service leaders
12 September 2022

Fast Stream-style programme will offer candidates ‘diverse and challenging placements’

Cabinet Office to lose one in four staff – but no detail yet on impact for digital agencies
23 August 2022

Jacob Rees Mogg trailed 25% job cuts in a Telegraph article, which unions label as the minister’s latest in a series of ‘increasingly bizarre’ pronouncements

Related Sponsored Articles

Rewiring government: improving outcome management
6 September 2022

Paul Pick-Aluas, Strategy & Transformation, Public Sector at Salesforce, explains how governments can use technology innovation to improve how it can analyse outcomes