Jess McEvoy, GOV.UK Verify’s new interim director, has provided an update on the programme’s recent progress and outlined some of its priorities for the next three months.
Writing in her first blog post since taking the helm McEvoy said that GOV.UK Verify is in a position where it’s ready and able to accommodate all the services that need to adopt it in central government, along with devolved services in Wales and Northern Ireland.
A number of new services are set to go live. For example, users will soon be able to tell DVLA about medical conditions (DVLA) and, by the autumn, it will be possible to sign mortgage deeds via the Land Registry’s service.
“We’re also working with some of the services that are already using GOV.UK Verify to continue to meet the needs of their specific users and improve completion rates,” commented McEvoy. “A great example of that is DWP’s Universal Credit service, where we’ve been researching improvements to the user journey and testing those with users in job centres.”
Local authority collaboration
McEvoy added that the Government is committed to the maximum possible re-use of GOV.UK Verify across the public sector and beyond. As a result the viability of offering GOV.UK Verify at scale to other public bodies such as the NHS and local authorities, as well as the private sector, is being looked into.
A series of discovery projects with local authorities looking at how GOV.UK Verify might be extended in this area is being rolled out.
In the blog, McEvoy also stated that technical improvements are being made to GOV.UK Verify in order to make the user journey better and make the service more resilient. These include:
- improving the certified company picker through A/B testing to ensure users only see the companies most likely to verify them based on the information they have to hand
- improving handling of the user’s choice of language (English or Welsh) so the correct language version of each screen can be shown throughout the entire process
- improving the hub’s ability to handle increased traffic – it can now handle 45% more users per second, compared with when GOV.UK Verify went live
“Next up we’ll be focusing on two main areas,” said McEvoy. “We’ll improve our release process so we can put out new versions of the software more quickly and more reliably. This will allow us to respond to changing requirements more easily and free up our developers to focus on meeting user needs.
“We will also improve how we tell users when something goes wrong.”
That will involve:
- being more specific about the cause of the error to help users understand what went wrong
- helping users by clearly identifying what to do next
McEvoy concluded by saying: “We’re going to continue our work in this area as a priority because, by iterating regularly and successfully, we’re showing that we can continuously improve GOV.UK Verify and bring real benefits to users and service providers.”
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