Collaboration results in new GOV.UK tool

A new online debt management tool has been rolled out that it’s hoped will assist those struggling with debts to get on top of their situation.

The tool – which is the result of collaboration between the Insolvency Service and the Government Digital Service (GDS) – can be found on the GOV.UK platform.

A blog post says that the Insolvency Service approached GDS last year with the idea of creating some content to help people in debt find out what options are available to them.

Keeping it simple

The GDS decided to use a GOV.UK content format called a ‘simple smart answer’. By asking the user a series of straightforward ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions, the tool is able to find out more about their circumstances and point towards an option relevant to them.

“We collaborated with the Insolvency Service throughout the development of this tool,” the authors of the post said. “Working this way meant that when we came to send it out for fact checking (a normal part of our workflow, which happens after internal review) it came back from the subject matter experts quickly with minimal comments.

“Expediting this part of the process wouldn’t have been possible if we hadn’t been able to tap into the team’s specialist knowledge throughout the project.”


Remaining objective

The developers say they were clear when building the tool that they wanted the user to let them know that even though GOV.UK doesn’t offer advice, there are other sites better placed to do so.

This made sure the service could remain objective while still giving the user the information they need to make a decision.

Now the tool has been published, it will be monitored closely to see how it’s being used. It will then be revisited in a few months when more data is available in order to get an idea of any improvements that can be made.

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