Feeds

Gov web boss: Our sites look like bleak council estates

Vows to ape Google, make pages more sexy

Top three mobile application threats

The Cabinet Office's freshly uploaded digital boss Mike Bracken is on a mission to sex-up government services online.

At the moment, he views Directgov as a "pretty bleak" landscape and illustrated his point at the supplier's conference in Whitehall this morning by providing a photograph of what appeared to be a rundown council estate.

He wants the GDS (government digital services) to be on a par with other major web properties such as Facebook, Google and Twitter, all of whom - Bracken claimed - "put users first".

Reading from the Martha Lane Fox script, the ex-Guardianista, who has been in his job since July, said the government's approach to digital services needed to change.

"[When] we think about ourselves in size and scale, we should think of ourselves as one of these huge internet companies," he said, pointing at a slide that listed the aforementioned web giants.

"And yet we don't, instead we think of ourselves as departments," said Bracken, who was also keen to show off his government-issued Apple Mac laptop. Apparently being in possession of such kit illustrated that things were finally changing within UK.gov.

He said the government needed to understand "user demand" by sorting out the interface and transactions system to make the services more "attractive to use". Bracken said that the GDS team, which is currently beavering away at a closed beta version of the successor to Directgov, was "relentlessly" focussed on users.

"We don't know what the world will look like from a user perspective two years from now," he admitted, citing Apple's iPad as an example of how quickly a new gadget can catch on.

Bracken said that a digital development framework would be made available to suppliers in the next few months. He called on smaller, more agile procurers to pile into the process.

"There is far too much distrust within this [supply chain] system," he said. "I don't really have time for that... We've got to get over each other and build a network of trust." ®

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

More from The Register

next story
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Captain Kirk sets phaser to SLAUGHTER after trying new Facebook app
William Shatner less-than-impressed by Zuck's celebrity-only app
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS
Google is only now fixing ancient, energy-sapping bug
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.