Advice for better moderated usability testing - User research in government
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some practical tips on how to carry out moderated think-aloud usability testing. It’s based on what I’ve learnt from academic research and from practical experience, both inside and outside government.

The End of the Beginning of Digital Service Units – digital HKS – Medium
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novelty and newness of these teams has worn off... growing acceptance ... that these teams are useful tool in driving new practices ... Less clear... is whether these units can enable the deeper digital transformation... ~ two key pieces of the puzzle: ... creating common platforms to power governments services is key to digital transformation o…

Auditor says GDS needs to redefine its role
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GDS does have a clear function and is learning from its experiences ... struggled to demonstrate the value of flagship initiatives... or to set out key priorities.... Another criticism ... not sustained its framework of standards and guidance, with some being removed and web links broken... leave scope for interpretation and disagreement... somet…

Government digital effort lacks ministerial weight
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Progress has been sporadic, but... plenty of observers wouldn’t have expected this much of GDS when it was set up in 2011... It made its mark largely because it had Maude, the senior minister in the Cabinet Office and a heavyweight in the Conservative Party, fully engaged and ready to back GDS chief Mike Bracken in inter-departmental tussles... i…

GDS chief outlines vision for Civil Service
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The solution is in a new method of policy making with strong similarities to the agile approach ... “Policy making will be service design, and the designing of services will be the making of policy. Ideas and their implementation will be so close together... The way the law is made will have to change.

Assessing the UK’s Government Digital Service • The Register
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the collapse of the digital interface of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) IT system... supposed to be one of its key exemplars for GDS in showcasing its "agile" approach to delivering digital technology... the system will be 40 per cent over budget at £215m and has led to disallowance penalties to the EU of up to £180m per year due to mis-paym…

Why are senior staff fleeing the Government Digital Service?
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The GDS was set up to improve online public services but disagreements with the top brass over its ambitions have seen four leaders abruptly resign - Why are senior staff fleeing the Government Digital Service? | Public Leaders Network | The Guardian

The future of GDS
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"This is not just about great user interface design but real end-to-end digital [services]... Some things have not been smooth, not all the exemplars have been a resounding success, however Mike took the challenge, dared to be measured and held accountable and the results have certainly been positive and to the betterment of the public purse." …

"History mode’ from GOV.UK
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"Most visitors to departmental and agency content want to see what the current position is, so there is a need to manage historical content. Users expect this to be available. In the past there have been different approaches to this. Having a single government website gives us an opportunity to make this consistent, manageable and effective for u…

The UK's GDS meltdown couldn't happen in Brussels, right? (updated)
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I freely admit: I've been a fanboy of the UK's Government Digital Service (GDS) since studying their design principles. Those principles are still good. Everything else, it turns out, was not.

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