Last week we made the GOV.AU Alpha prototype public.
We have now started working on GOV.AU Beta with the plan to make government services and information simpler, clearer and faster.
With approximately 1500 federal websites currently in existence, the task at hand is enormous. But we believe it is possible to reduce the clutter and make information accessible, concise and relevant to users.
When we are finished, GOV.AU will be the place to find out anything to do with the Australian Government. Users will be able to find specific information related to a particular department or find relevant information around a topic.
You can read more about our content model here.
Step 1 － Bring in corporate information from selected department websites
Our first step for GOV.AU Beta is to work with some government departments to integrate their ‘corporate’ information. Working to our content model, each department will have their own place on GOV.AU as a sub-site.
The sub-sites will accommodate information such as department announcements, policies and publications etc. The look and feel for all department sub-sites will be consistent (unlike now) and each department will be able to publish content directly to GOV.AU.
We plan to work with a small group of departments over the next few months. Other departments and agencies will join us from August this year.
Caption: Department of Communications and the Arts joins the GOV.AU Beta Discovery.
Step 2 － Integrate information from various departments around transitions
One of the big plans for GOV.AU is to make it easier for people when they have to transition through major life events, that often require government support, such as having a baby, buying a house, getting older etc.
This is one of the most powerful parts of GOV.AU and in turn the most complex. Organising content around life events or ‘transitions’ is not new, but making this work will require unprecedented cooperation from all departments. If we get this right, the benefit to all Australians will be enormous.
Other things we are doing
Reviewing valuable feedback
Iterating based on feedback is a big part of our process and we’ve received some constructive feedback on the GOV.AU Alpha protoype which we are taking on board as we move into Beta.
If you would like to add your comments you still can.
We may not have all the answers just yet, as we are still early in the process, but feedback is vital to the success of GOV.AU.
Testing ideas for the publishing platform
We are now testing out the best publishing platform solution. We are in the Discovery (research) phase and will share our findings and prefered platform as we move forward.
Of course, this is not easy as the platform that we choose to replace the plethora of platforms that currently exist will need analysis, collaboration and input from many within government.
Launching a design guide
Finally we are preparing a design guide that will be made available to all government departments. The design patterns to be included in the guide were sketched out on GOV.AU Alpha and will be refined as we move into Beta.
So yes, GOV.AU Beta is now officially on its way. We will continue to document our progress and regularly publish updates.