Is GOV.UK the best web-site in the UK?

The art of UX.

It’s not often that we Brits can be truly proud of our government – but the @GDSTeam that are transforming the experience are really world-class. IMHO.

Not only did they choose WordPress, they adopted agile, embrace open-source, iterate wildly and put the user at the heart of the experience.

They share so many of our values it’s scary. They are also so different to most of the Digital and WordPress agencies out there today – many still embrace proprietary code and old-fashioned waterfall practices.

To get a flavour of how they operate, engage with them on Twitter.

But that’s not why I think is the best site in the UK – it’s because for a such a large project design is entirely a function of user needs. It’s classic function over form (another core belief for us) and in world where classic web design is dying due to irrelevance it’s a refreshingly new approach.

Now, that’s not to say web design is going to die overnight (it’s one of these long-term predictions again). However, the availability of high-quality, open-source templates, standardised mobile and device technology and accepted practices are surely the beginning of the end for fancy design.

Note that the respected UX crystal-ball gazer, Jakub Nielsen predicted this 15 years ago.

As web-form takes a back-seat to web-functionality, we’ll see a cleaner, easier-to-use web that will make navigating and using digital services a great deal simpler. If you go back to the early nineties, you’ll have seen the same thing when MS-Windows came along and democratised application design via a set of standard toolkits.

This is where we are at now – the beginning of the end of web-design. The agency world is largely clueless, much of their profit comes from churning out different-for-difference-sakes designs. But they’re not really very different, are they? Take a look at the top 10 WordPress agencies to see what I mean.

What you get is a selection of vanity sliders, pointless transitions and silly animations – they’re still living in a world where form outranks function. You’ll see none of that on – and that’s a good thing.

by Martin Dower, CEO

Martin Dower