Skip to main content

GOV.UK at 5: well-primed for the future

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: GOV.UK

Graphic saying 'GOV.UK is 5'

Kevin Cunnington, Director General, GDS

Five years ago, with agencies and other departments, GDS took 2,000 government sites and turned them into a single publishing platform. We consolidated and simplified content, and turned it into tools where appropriate. It saved time, it saved money and it brought government together.

Kevin Cunnington and GSD staff talking
Kevin Cunnington

This work has been cutting-edge and award-winning. Since its launch, GOV.UK has redefined how a modern government should serve its people. Crucially it prepared us for the work we’re doing today. It is a strong foundation on which we continue to build, develop and look to the future.

GOV.UK provides us a unique insight into what our citizens want to know about. We continue to measure where we are successful and where we could improve the user experience. We’re planning for the future. We are in the early stages of experimenting with machine learning to gain new insights.

So to all those who have brought us to this point, thank you. The work of a digital government never stops, so here’s to the next five years.

Caroline Nokes, Minister for Government Resilience and Efficiency

Caroline Nokes talking to 2 members of GDS staff
Caroline Nokes

Five years on from its launch, GOV.UK has succeeded in becoming the single online point of access for government services and guidance. The commitment to continuous improvement means that GOV.UK isn’t just a website, it is a world leader in digital government. I am excited to see how the platform adapts to the changing technological landscape.

Those who have worked and continue to work on GOV.UK have my thanks, the thanks of the country and my congratulations. I have every confidence that five years from now, the UK government will remain the most digitally advanced in the world.

Trisha Doyle, Head of Content Design, GDS

Trisha Doyle portrait
Trisha Doyle

GOV.UK is the reason I wanted to work in government and I feel proud that I'm part of something that's made a difference. I'm delighted to lead the cross-government content community who work incredibly hard on GOV.UK to make things better for users.

I'm excited about our next big challenge: helping the community play a central role in building end-to-end services.

Content Design Team, Digital Transformation Agency, Australian Government

Congratulations on 5 brave years of digital trailblazing. Your work is an ongoing source of inspiration and reference that is always our first go-to.

Thank you for never being too busy to answer our questions or do an early cross-hemisphere hang-out – even before you’ve had your morning coffees. We are deeply grateful for your generosity in sharing your experience.

Neil Williams, Head of GOV.UK, GDS

Neil Williams speaking
Neil Williams

I’ve celebrated all 5 of GOV.UK’s birthdays and while so much has changed in that time, one thing stays the same: the commitment, passion and talent of the people who come to work here to keep making government simpler, clearer and faster for users every day. They make my job easy.

It’s a delight and a privilege to work with them, on this vitally important product, and I’m immensely proud of everything we’ve achieved and learned together in the past 5 years. And the work we’re doing now is just as groundbreaking and exciting as it was back then, so watch this space!

Marian Foley, Content Designer, GDS

I moved to GOV.UK at the end of August. I've wanted to work here since I became a content designer because it's always seemed like a centre of excellence.

It's such a supportive and collaborative environment to work in – everyone's encouraged to be the best version of themselves, which lets us do the best job we can for users.

Nick Johnstone-Waddell, Public and Professional Information Lead, PHE Screening

Professional content related to the NHS screening programmes moved onto GOV.UK in June 2015. This was a huge change for tens of thousands of professionals delivering screening services, who were understandably wary, especially as GOV.UK didn’t look like any website they were used to!

After some initial scepticism, though, the transition has been a great success and GOV.UK has had a truly transformative effect on how we work in Public Health England (PHE) to produce and maintain high quality content.

In particular, the focus on user needs has helped us to streamline and rewrite our content, better supporting busy professionals in frontline NHS services. And our PHE Screening blog has massively improved how we communicate, made us more open and transparent, and led to a new culture of sharing and engaging with our stakeholders.

Simon Cole QPM, Chief Constable, Leicestershire Police

As the world becomes more and more digital, GOV.UK has lead the way. As a citizen I have found it to be user-friendly; as a police officer, it has led the way for the digital public contact programme for policing.

Clare Moriarty, Permanent Secretary, Defra

Clare Moriarty portrait
Clare Moriarty. Photo credit: Civil Service World

The Defra Group is made up of more than 30 organisations. With the launch of GOV.UK 5 years ago, we were able to pull their individual websites together into one single government domain.

It’s meant that our users now have a simpler, more joined-up service, and it continues to be a driving force in our transformation today. Happy birthday GOV.UK!

Corporate Communications Team, Sellafield Ltd

Working with GDS to transition to GOV.UK hasn’t just given us a website that is performing better than our previous stand-alone site, but also an awareness of user needs and plain English that is filtering through to all of our communication and engagement activities.

I can honestly say that our experience as a completely new organisation to GOV.UK was excellent. We were initially sceptical of the whole transition programme but within a week of working with the team, there was definitely a lightbulb moment for us, and – as they say – ‘the rest is history’.

You can follow GDS on Twitter, and don't forget to subscribe to our blog.

Sharing and comments

Share this page

1 comment

  1. Comment by Sue Marsh posted on

    Many happy returns, to everyone at GDS. I wondered whether someone from GDS could contact me, please, about how to format text in my manual which is published on GOV.UK. Many thanks!