Directgov

Engaging editorial and video plus content strategy for the leading government portal

The brief: preparing for change

Directgov – the number one site for UK citizens to access government information and services – wanted to revamp its services and become more responsive to the public. The aim: to help online users quickly find quality advice on anything from car tax and benefits to green living and re-training.

Step 1: editorial overhaul

We worked in-house for six intense weeks on a prototype website, creating a series of engaging editorial treatments for the development team to drop into sample pages. Rather than just lifting and shifting existing content, having fresh purpose-written content enabled the prototypes to be more clearly demonstrated to key Directgov stakeholders.

Step 2: IA ideas

We ran user workshops and online surveys and worked closely with the development team to restructure and redesign the site, cutting out swathes of out-of-date and redundant text in the process. The result was a more streamlined user experience and a site that was much more useful to users.

Step 3: “explainer” videos

A key component of the prototypes was video. We created a number of how-to videos, including advice on how to improve your maths and English as well as executive summaries for senior Directgov staff. We wrote, storyboarded, directed and produced the videos. We also recruited the on-screen presenters and voiceover artists, brought in autocue technicians and generally handled the entire process from start to finish.

Step 4: results and beyond

Directgov received a stash of cutting-edge ideas and content, box-fresh for implementation and consideration by senior staff. Directgov would later relaunch as the award-winning GOV.UK portal.

Special project 8 January 2016 Bank of England 10 January 2016