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Consultations in hiding?

January 31, 2013

Did you know the Government Digital Service has a blog?  Well, yes, all right, a better question might be did you know there actually WAS a Government Digital Service

Ahem… well, anyway their latest blog entry describes how they improve their services by using, amongst other things, remote user testing, or in plain English, by getting people to use their pages whilst logged on to some kind of key logging thing that lets them examine how people muddle through finding the stuff they want.  And what did they find?

Users did, however, struggle to find consultations on the site. Users didn’t understand where to start looking, or under what navigation heading it would be listed. This issue was also picked up in the face-to-face lab testing, so it was quickly addressed by the product team and a solution is now undergoing further testing.

(Pause for another round of the “told you so” dance)

Because, in case the Government Digital Service hadn’t already noticed, the House of Lords Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee have already asked for an urgent review of government consultation policy, and suggested (para 11) that a 21st Century government ought to be able to produce a single website listing open consultations in the order in which they close.

Is that the “solution” now undergoing “further testing”?  Somehow, I’m not holding my breath just yet.

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