The new Government Service Design Manual recently passed an alpha assessment. Special thanks go to Holly Garrett who led the team from the beginning through to the alpha assessment. Holly’s now moved on and Tom Scott is the new product manager.
What we learned from our alpha
Here’s the most important ones:
- we’re building the new service manual on GOV.UK. We chose this because being on the GOV.UK platform provided the tech support model we wanted, offered a technical development roadmap that we can benefit from. The service manual is also within proposition for GOV.UK, since we learned from our discovery that expert community discussions about contributions could appropriately be hosted off of the service manual itself
- the new service manual has a narrowly defined proposition for the minimum viable product: “the service manual provides guidance for teams creating government digital services. It’s designed to help teams meet the Digital Service Standard and pass their service assessments.” We’re only including information necessary for building good services and we’re linking to information that’s more broadly useful
- the new service manual will not be updated on a volunteer basis: it’s going to have a permanent team proactively updating it. To lead this GDS appointed a managing editor responsible for the whole organisation’s content. Elena Findley-de Regt took the role in November.
- the communities are pretty different from each other. We started writing content in October, asking the GDS community leads to nominate the most appropriate experts within their community for us to work with. We’re still looking at the best ways to include the experience and expertise of the cross-government community
We’ll be launching some new content early next year. Redirecting sections of the current service manual to ensure saved links and bookmarks don’t break. We’ll be exploring navigation patterns in greater detail. We already know we need to tag content in a meaningful way. We'll be able to take advantage of future developments of the GOV.UK publishing platform. Helping everyone find content they want.