Why DirectScot? The rationale

The DirectScot prototype aims to bring to life the Scottish Government’s (SG) proposals for a better way of delivering the wide range of government information and services online.

The rationale for DirectScot is straightforward:

Simplifying the experience of government
We want to make it easier to find the right information from government and think that the current online landscape is both cluttered and confusing.  To give you some sense of this, in its first ten years since devolution the SG has built up a large portfolio of websites delivering government information. Each site presents the user with a different look and feel. DirectScot aims to facilitate greater consistency in user-experience. Put simply: understand one government site, understand them all.

Putting users first
People come to government websites for many reasons but all have the same desire – to find what they’re looking for as quickly as possible and then leave. We want to remove the barriers to this and believe that there should be greater emphasis on completing the task rather than insisting users wade through every word of the ‘small print’ first. In DirectScot, all the information you need is still available, but it is the task that takes priority.

Seeing the wood and the trees
It’s sometimes hard to find out exactly what you’re entitled to and to have confidence in the information you’re reading online. We want to provide citizens and business in Scotland with a comprehensive and authoritative view of all government services available to them at a national and local level and DirectScot aims to be that trusted portal.

Giving you a voice
We believe that user-engagement is a fundamental part of delivering better services and want to make it easier for you to have your say. It is the feedback from the community of users that holds the key to improving the delivery of public services. DirectScot aims to be a lead vehicle for this by enabling greater dialogue and listening to the wisdom of the crowd.

Reducing cost
DirectScot aims to make significant inroads into the cost of delivering government information online by reducing the duplication inherent in multiple technology platforms and by limiting associated costs such as hosting, design and branding. It also aims to do this by stripping back and re-homing the content from large numbers of centrally run SG sites within a single portal.

Establishing a platform to build on
We view DirectScot as a starting point not an end in itself. The future of online services will be shaped by users and by public sector organisations working in partnership. As part of DirectScot, we aim to build a suite of common applications for general use by government organisations and to assist in the development of shared online services. DirectScot also aims to facilitate the development of innovative products by publishing a wide range of government datasets.

Tell us what you think. You can comment on this blog by leaving feedback here. Please also contribute to the consultation on DirectScot.

The DirectScot Team


2 thoughts on “Why DirectScot? The rationale

  1. Congratulations on all the work so far. The whole approach and direction of this work, as expressed through this blog is encouraging forward thinking and up-to-date which is not what I usually find myself saying about government IT initiatives.

    One initiative by the UK government which is a landmark event, is the establishment of an open code-repository for government projects in the form of the GitHub AlphaGov repository: https://github.com/alphagov . Can I strongly encourage this initiative to do likewise and, in so doing, establish a community of code sharing between these and future projects.

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