Recommendations for improving online consultations

How can the experience of online consultations, as run by central government, be improved? This was the broad question that Demsoc and Snook were tasked with exploring as part of a six-week discovery phase project for the Government Digital Service. GDS were clear that they wanted the focus to be on platforms – although you […]

Is Local GDS a good idea?

There is a conversation going on online about the concept of a Local Government Digital Service, modelled on the lines of central government’s GDS. See, for example, Dominic’s tweet, and posts from Carl Haggerty (in 2012) and Richard Copley (on Monday). I can see the appeal of a single solution, a piece of beautiful design […]

Plain speaking

This project led by the Democratic Society has been focusing on how to improve the mechanisms we use for consultation. But if we are going to involve and engage more people, we also need to change the words we use to talk about policy. Plain English is mandatory on the new GOV.UK website. The Government Digital Service has created a useful list […]

Explaining government policy on GOV.UK- helping to contextualise the policy making discussion

This post by my colleague, Janet Hughes got me thinking about how the way we explain policy impacts the extent to which people are willing and able to engage in meaningful discussions about it. Janet sets out some of the work the Government Digital Service (within the Cabinet Office) has been doing in this area […]

Case Study: Collecting user feedback on alpha and beta versions of GOV.UK

About the project: GOV.UK is the recently launched replacement for the Directgov and Businesslink websites, developed by the Government Digital Service (GDS). Developed in the open, the alpha and beta versions of GOV.UK were released to the public with the express intention of gathering as much feedback from actual site users as possible. High quality […]

Government consultations: Quiz show or Review show?

How should Government consult? There is – obviously – a long piece of guidance on the matter – owned, bizarrely, by the business and skills bit of government, but it doesn’t go nearly far enough. The Code of Practice on Consultation is pretty strict – twelve weeks to respond, don’t do it during an election period, […]

Social Media Guidance by @govUK is my new jam

If you follow my tweets, you’ll have seen that on Monday I was at the excellent PEP-NET (Pan-European Participation Network) summit in Hamburg. Noella Edelmann’s summary is here. One of the projects that presented was NextHamburg, who run participatory projects on the future of the city, as well as CityCamp-type innovation events. I particularly liked […]

20 things from UK GovCamp (#ukgc12)

As suggested by Dan Slee, here are twenty of the things I learned at UKGovCamp. (“We” here refers to GovCamp attenders and fellow-travellers rather than Demsoc). 1. GDS is getting big and getting mainstream. It feels like for the past couple of years we’ve been playing with a cute little puppy called “Gov.uk”, and all […]