What works and doesn’t work in the prototype

We’ve now had a really encouraging number of responses to the formal consultation, but if you haven’t already done so let us know what you think about DirectScot by completing the online response form.

The prototype produces lots of great search results, in fact we’re surprised at just how good some of the automatically generated links between related services are. However there are lots of things that just don’t work. Ironically, it’s often the fact that they don’t work that strengthens the case for DirectScot.

e.g. Student Finance

Searching for ‘student  finance’ in the prototype returns results from the the UK national website DirectGov, but these results aren’t relevant in Scotland as the they only cover students from England.

This happens a lot in Directgov. Despite the best efforts of the UK Directgov team, very often when services differ between England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, it’s the English service that tends to get the higher billing.

The approach we have taken in the prototype is to automatically syndicate all content from DirectGov. Every article is marked as ‘unreviewed’, meaning that is has not yet been approved or rejected for inclusion in DirectScot. Once reviewed, rejected articles will be removed from DirectScot leaving only those relevant to Scottish users.

In the prototype we have reviewed and approved the entire ‘motoring’ topic from DirectGov but there’s a lot to do to complete a full review of all content. The aim of a full DirectScot portal would be to ensure that Scottish users get the content that’s most relevant to them and to address the anomalies highlighted in this blog.

Tell us what you think. You can comment on this blog by leaving feedback here. Please also contribute your views as part of the consultation on DirectScot.

The DirectScot Team

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