Gov.uk launches latest beta focusing on SMBs

In the on-going development of the website, a new batch of content is added to help small and medium businesses

The latest version of the Gov.uk website has been unveiled this week, with extra content and search features aimed at smaller companies.

The Government Digital Service (GDS) was prompted to build the site following a report from Martha Lane Fox in 2010, which called for overhaul of 750 separate government websites to be replaced by a single internet "front door" to public services on the web – similar to the purpose of Direct Gov.

Since then, the site has been allocated funding of £1.7m. An alpha version of the site was released in May 2011, while the first beta was released in February 2012.

Now, the website has been updated further, with extra content for citizens, as well as simpler search tools.

“We’ve been hard at work behind the scenes since then, and today we’re releasing a new batch of content, as well as the next iteration of Gov.uk’s design,” wrote Sarah Prag, product manager of Gov.uk mainstream, on the GDS blog.

The group working on the website decided to make the fonts uniform to make the pages “more consistent and remove distractions.” A new homepage also outlines the purpose of the website from the get-go as a portal for citizens to access all their government services.

Additions to the content for this version focus on SMBs, with topics such as starting up a business, protecting intellectual property and registering a trademark all covered. There is also a new license finder tool so prospective businesses can search for what paperwork they need to get their venture off the ground.

Prag said new content would be added to the website “every week or two” as the project ramps up to its final stages.

However, the GDS is still seeking feedback on the site's improvements and is asking the public to make comments on the blog or at the feedback page on Gov.uk.

But what does the beta of the Gov.uk website mean for public services? Read our analysis here.

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