OK I’m less than convinced that ‘opaquer’ is really a word but you get the point 🙂
When you visit the latest iteration of GOVUK one of the first things you see is the strapline ‘Simpler, clearer, faster’. I like it. Alot. It nicely sums up what GDS are trying to achieve and just generally is a decent goal for any public sector website.
A recent post of the GDS blog has someone from the Driving Standards Agency talking about how they took that phrase and other lessons GDS have been sharing and rethought their Youtube videos to some success. Its a nice case study and I think a fine example of how the informal sharing from GDS is cascading through the public sector.
That said I find myself with a bigger issue and to be honest GDS is a part of the problem rather than a solution (for now anyway.)
I need to deliver a new website [very] early in 2013. Its not a huge site by Gov standards – a little under 2,000 pages and about 50k uniques per month. Nor is it that complex consisting almost exclusively of HTML pages and an awful lot of PDFs.
One of the problems is I still don’t really know how GDS, the single-domain etc is going to effect us. It might well pass us by but that isn’t clear yet and even if it does what does that actually mean? I’m planning a new website, building wireframes, drafting a content strategy, testing a proposed new IA, thinking about the design but is it going to be valid or will it be superseded in a matter of months? I’m not a lazy guy (well not in work terms – exercise and housework is a whole different ball game!) but its a great deal of work for nothing if the hammer comes down.
Not to mention we are looking to select and implement a new CMS – for more than one partner organisation – at a time when GDS are building a custom web publishing solution.
I’m aware the folk at GDS have got a lot on their plate and a big part of this is about the timing I’m sure but we have our own looming deadlines and with every passing week I grow more twitchy. At the moment other people are taking a more blinkered approach and are probably benefiting because of that but that isn’t my nature – I am just too nosey!
From a personal point of view I’d welcome GDS ‘sticking their oar in’ to any project I’m involved in – I’m like a broken record when it comes to the need for digital leadership and I think they are best placed to provide it and I could sure use a little guidance..