Feeds

Gov web boss: Our sites look like bleak council estates

Vows to ape Google, make pages more sexy

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

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." ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Ubuntu 14.04 LTS: Great changes, but sssh don't mention the...
Why HELLO Amazon! You weren't here last time
OpenBSD founder wants to bin buggy OpenSSL library, launches fork
One Heartbleed vuln was too many for Theo de Raadt
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Got Windows 8.1 Update yet? Get ready for YET ANOTHER ONE – rumor
Leaker claims big release due this fall as Microsoft herds us into the CLOUD
Next Windows obsolescence panic is 450 days from … NOW!
The clock is ticking louder for Windows Server 2003 R2 users
Patch iOS, OS X now: PDFs, JPEGs, URLs, web pages can pwn your kit
Plus: iThings and desktops at risk of NEW SSL attack flaw
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
Red Hat to ship RHEL 7 release candidate with a taste of container tech
Grab 'near-final' version of next Enterprise Linux next week
Apple inaugurates free OS X beta program for world+dog
Prerelease software now open to anyone, not just developers – as long as you keep quiet
prev story

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.