The latest iteration of the Service Manual is now published. The Service Manual exists to help people across government build services that meet the Digital Service Standard and prepare for service assessments.
Over the past year, we’ve built a new front end and created or updated more than 150 pages. We’ve just added a new homepage.
We’ve made all of these improvements gradually. In September we wrote about some of the work we did earlier in the year. Now, we want to share what the latest steps have been.
Changes we’ve made
Ahead of making any changes, we ran a discovery to find out what the most valuable improvements would be. As a result, here’s what’s changed:
- we’ve been improving topics since we first published in January 2016, and we’ll keep doing that
- we’ve introduced a new information layout for easier navigation: we’ve created new topics, subtopics and guides and we’ll continue to test and improve them
- subject-matter experts have checked every piece of content in the new manual to make sure it’s up to date and factually correct
- we’ve removed duplicate content and redirected content so bookmarks and saved links don’t break
- the manual is now written in plain English and follows the latest GOV.UK style guide
- we’ve standardised the way we present content across the manual so that it’s consistent and therefore quicker and easier to read
- we’ve built a new publisher so that it is easier to update the content – previously we updated content via Github
This is just the beginning
What we’ve done has given us a great base to build on, but it’s just the start.
We’ve already started improving content and we’ll continue to do so based on analytics, user research and feedback, and the help we get from experts.
We know that every service is different, and the manual can’t just explain how to build a service in a one-size-fits-all way.
GDS wants to support government to build great services and we want the Service Manual to play a part in this.
Talk to us
The Service Manual is for the benefit of service teams across government. With your help, we can make sure it keeps improving. As we iterate the manual, we want to hear from you.
There is a feedback option at the bottom of every page of the Service Manual. You can also leave a comment below to let us know what you think about the changes.