By Greer Schick, Online and Internal Communications Manager.
Today we have launched the first few sections of a rebuilt ico.org.uk. I thought I’d explain a bit more about what we’re doing, why, what’s led up to this point and what’s coming up next.
We are rebuilding ico.org.uk to make it easier and faster for users to find what they’re looking for and help them do things. Today we’ve released the ‘For the public’ and ‘Report a concern’ sections – rebuilt sections of our site that we want to collect feedback on so we can keep improving it. Apart from a handful of other pages, the rest of the site remains unchanged until we release the final sections of the site in another week or so.
Why are we doing this?
First and foremost, we want to make it easier and faster for citizens to exercise their information rights and, for organisations to meet their obligations. We want to create a digital service that people will prefer to use – maintaining and improving customer satisfaction. And finally, to have a service that is easier, faster and more cost effective for us to maintain and develop.We’ve centred our design around sessions we’ve held with users along the way. It’s really important to us that ico.org.uk will be based around what users need.
We’ve learnt a lot during this process. It’s been great to have had the opportunity to meet some of the members of the public, organisations and stakeholders who have a need for our services – including those who’d visited ico.org.uk before and those who hadn’t – to understand more about who they are, why they come and how they get on.
We’ve also learnt plenty about working in an agile way that is still fairly new for public sector organisations – gaining a lot from the approach of the Government Digital Service (makers of GOV.UK) and various organisations who’ve been happy to share their experiences with us.
Research on our early prototypes showed users found the rebuilt parts of the site clearer, easier to read and understand, and we’ve seen users finding what they’re looking for faster. Where feedback was less positive, we’ve improved upon our early designs – and we’ll keep doing that as we launch the remaining sections, and beyond.
We’ve always called ico.org.uk a website, but it’s probably more accurate now to say we’re building a digital service. The ico.org.uk site is increasingly accessed on a much wider range of devices (around 25% of our users are now viewing it on mobiles and tablets) and, little by little, it’s also becoming home to more transactional services (eg registering, reporting a concern, notifying us of a data breach etc). Many people appreciate the ease and speed of doing things online – irrespective of the device they’re using – and we need to meet those needs. Part of what we’ve been building is a digital platform that will house our current and future digital services.
Tell us what you think
We’re launching the redesigned sections in stages so that we can see how the service is performing, and collect and incorporate feedback as we go. We hope you like the first sections of our rebuilt ico.org.uk. Let us know what you think by posting a comment below.
|Greer Schick has responsibility for the Information Commissioner’s Office’s online presence, including the ICO website and intranet.|
Last updated 27/11/2014 12:45