Starting 16 March, we’re changing how the content design team in GOV.UK is organised so we can develop closer working relationships across government and prioritise our work more efficiently. We’re also making it easier for GDS content designers to learn new skills and become more knowledgeable in the subjects they’re responsible for.
The way government organisations interact with us won’t change: keep using the support form.
Since the end of transition, the GOV.UK content design team has been thinking about how we can best work with colleagues across government.
As expected, there’s been an increase in the number of requests for changes and content design support, most of which relate to content updates rather than improvements. We also know that many publishers would welcome a known point of contact in the GOV.UK content design team, and to have a clearer idea of how we work.
Until now we’ve had 2 main teams: mainstream and departments and policy. The mainstream team produced and managed the content which meets the needs citizens and businesses have of government. The departments and policy team supported digital teams across government and helped them make specialised content work well on GOV.UK.
More recently we’ve also had a third team, working closely with HMRC, making complex tax related content and services as simple for users as possible. This partnership approach has proved very successful, so we’re now going to apply it across all of GOV.UK.
We’re creating 4 teams. Each team will cover a set of user journeys from start to finish, creating and maintaining the mainstream content, managing finders and tools, and providing advice on any related content, services and transactions managed by departments and agencies. Where necessary, they’ll work with the relevant subject matter experts and across government organisations.
Each team will create and manage content, support publishers in other teams, carry out spot checks and contribute to content clinics.
The 4 teams will be supported by delivery managers, trainers, performance analysts and user researchers, a business analyst and a community manager with additional responsibility for overseeing training.
Our hope is that we can build teams with greater knowledge of a subject area who will complete routine work more quickly, and have more ability to address complex issues. Each team leader will work with fewer managing editors which will make for closer collaboration.
We’ve divided work across the 4 teams, trying to keep associated user journeys together.
Team 1: business, defence, energy and the environment
Topics: businesses and self employed, employing people, commercial driving and specialist transport topics, energy, environment and the countryside, competition and innovation, intellectual property, defence and the armed forces.
Led by Andy Keen.
Team 2: personal life, education, culture and international development
Topics: personal tax, benefits, education and learning, housing and local services, disability, births, deaths, marriages, culture and international development.
Led by Elena Findley-de Regt and Simon Kaplan (job-share).
Team 3: immigration, driving, health and justice
Topics: visas, immigration, driving as a citizen, medicine, health, devolved administrations and regions, national statistics, crime, justice and the law.
Led by Jon Sanger.
Team 4: working, citizenship, travel and running government
Topics: work, jobs, pensions, citizenship, living in the UK, living abroad, passports, travel, the Civil Service and running government.
Led by Gwen Cheeseman.
We also tried to balance the volume of support requests we receive, and the tools and finders we maintain. We see this as a sensible starting point, but we’ll change and adapt as we learn more.
We’re going to introduce the new way of working starting next week, and continuing through April. The pre-election ‘purdah’ period gives us the opportunity to bed in the new teams. We will blog about how it’s going and welcome your feedback.
You won’t have to do anything different if you want to contact the team or send in a change request. We’ve tried to set things up to cause the least disruption possible.
We’re excited about this reorganisation and look forward to working with you to make sure it’s a success.