About

This blog is intended as a discussion space for the DirectScot prototype. We will keep you updated on developments as well as giving you the chance to have your say on how it’s going.

In addition to joining the debate on this blog, you can can take part in the DirectScot consultation running through January and February 2012.

What is DirectScot?

DirectScot is Scotland’s public services and information portal. It aims to improve access to digital government services for the Scottish people.

It contains information and practical advice about digital public services, ultimately aiming to provide comprehensive access to these services.

Direct Scot is an initiative of the Scottish Government, but the immediate project team is working closely with DirectGov, the Improvement Service and Scottish local authorities.

What is the status of the project?

Currently DirectScot is an experimental prototype and is still under development.

The initial version has been launched for consultation during January and February 2012 in order to gather feedback from the Scottish population and to inform the ongoing design of the service.

As such, DirectScot still has a relatively limited subset of information and services – including content from four of the 32 local authorities – Edinburgh City Council, Midlothian Council, East Lothian Council and South Lanarkshire Council.

What are the plans for 2012?

The development of a fully operational portal has yet to be given final approval. Feedback from the prototype consultation will inform this decision. However, it is anticipated that further refinement of the proposed model will continue throughout 2012.

How does DirectScot work?

DirectScot is a new home for Scottish Government information and services. It also uses a search-based approach to information discovery that is similar to Google, Bing or Ask Jeeves.

As such, it provides users with a search facility to find all relevant government-approved digital public services – be it from UK Government, the Scottish Government or local authorities.

To do this, it incorporates location detection, auto-suggestion of popular tasks and ‘automatic relatedness’ to assist in reducing the frustration of a failed journey.

What does DirectScot offer?

DirectScot can help you with many things, for example:

  • Booking your driving test
  • Finding a job
  • Accessing your rights as a citizen
  • Paying your Council Tax
  • Find a relevant school for your children
  • Finding information about a wide range of local public services

Where DirectScot controls the content then we aim to present information in plain English. Where it does not, DirectScot aims to signpost to relevant information and services as precisely as possible.

How to use Direct Scot

You can find specific information and services by using the search engine rather like Google or Bing, or you can browse by topic (and sub-topics), for example:

  • Motoring
  • Pensions and retirement planning
  • Planning and building standards
  • Roads and roadworks
  • Rubbish and recycling
  • Social work services
  • Sports, leisure and outdoor pursuits
  • Street care and cleaning

You can also complete a number of public services online, for example:

  • Apply for or renew your passport
  • Apply for a provisional driving licence
  • Apply for Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Get advice on your benefits
  • Use the student loan calculator
  • Tax your car

In addition, if public services from your local authority can be completed online then DirectScot aims to highlight the availability of these so that they can be accessed via the site.

Linking to DirectScot

DirectScot welcomes and encourages other websites to link to its information. You don’t have to ask permission to link to DirectScot but we can provide wording and linking graphics.

Using DirectScot content

Most information on Direct Scot is covered by Crown copyright. This means that you can use it for free in any format or medium, as long as you:

  • Reproduce it accurately
  • Don’t use it in a misleading way

Can I use Direct Scot on my mobile?

Yes.

The site aims to seamlessly support both web and mobile to improve access to digital public services regardless of device.

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2 thoughts on “About

  1. While this site is obviously designed for local Scots in Scotland it would be useful if somewhere you could list all the towns and villages in each Scottish Council area. As an historian I often find histories of places in Scotland but it can take ages to identify which Council area it is in today.

    Right now I’d love to get some information in front of all businesses in Scotland but there is no way to achieve that. Scottish Enterprise has no means of sending information to all Scottish businesses and nor does the Scottish Chamber of Commerce and nor do the council areas. The major newspapers in Scotland no longe rhave much of a reach to the business community in Scotland.

    It would thus be useful if you could create a service for Scottish businesses where most would want to check out news daily or at least weekly and where suitable requests for information could be posted.

    Like being an historian I find there is very little information on Scottish businesses. I’d be more than willing to offer a free web page to all Scottish businesses where they can send in some historical information on the business up to what they are doing today. They could also include pictures and videos and also their contact information. No charge other than some time to pull that together and email me the informaion. My problem is how do I let them know this service is available? Business Insider won’t take an article and nor wil the Herald or the Scotsman nor will the local newspapers. Hey.. it’s a free offer no strings attached!

  2. I just used the prototype and found it very useful. Easy to navigate around and took me to where I wanted to be without searching through various sites to get there. Look forward to seeing it going live in full.

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