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