Feeds

Cabinet Office moves step closer to killing Directgov

Test drive new Gov.uk beta build today

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

A beta build of the Cabinet Office's single domain website project has now been opened up for public scrutiny.

The previous incarnation of the site - Alpha.gov.uk - has been killed in the process. It has now morphed into the capped-up-cos-we-mean-business GOV.UK. The incumbent Directgov is expected to be sent to the knacker's yard if the single domain is signed off by the government.

In August last year, Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude dished out a further £1.6m for development of GOV.UK. Since then, its team, led by Tom Loosemore, upped sticks from the dingy Directgov offices in Lambeth to Aviation House in Holborn.

Not all of the single domain test build is public-facing as of today, however. A "corporate publishing platform" version of the beta is being enthusiastically fingered behind closed doors.

According to a blog post penned by Loosemore, that chunk of the site is expected to replace "most of the activity currently hosted on numerous departmental publishing environments".

Separately, his developers are also working on a first draft of something Loosemore described as a "Global Experience Language" - to make the design and usage of the site consistent throughout.

More releases of the beta will follow - the second is expected in the next few weeks, followed by a third test build at the end of March.

"The GOV.UK beta builds on years of work and learning across government and outside it about how to deliver great services to users. In the first instance it is designed to replace the content you’ll currently find at Directgov," said Loosemore.

"Directgov is a tremendous achievement and has consistently delivered huge value to its 30m+ visitors each month. However it is now 8 years old – an eternity in web years – and the user experience it offers is showing its age."

Cabinet Office says new site won't look anything like this beaten up Directgov 'estate'

It's obviously still in development, and Loosemore added that the "redesign of transactions, or government gateway, will take time".

That may be, in part, due to the fact that the Cabinet Office's grand plan to farm out the handling of taxpayers' online identities to the private sector will almost certainly be subjected to Blighty's laws.

The Cabinet Office gave us this statement about how much cash had so far been spent from the budget:

There are three deliverables* for the beta of gov.uk of which this release is just the first. The overall project budget is £1.7 million. We are currently running significantly under budget and are on schedule.

Anyhoo, the team wants your feedback. Here's the beta site. Go break it. ®

* This appears to be the government's new word for THINGS.

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
Microsoft EU warns: If you have ties to the US, Feds can get your data
European corps can't afford to get complacent while American Big Biz battles Uncle Sam
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.