https://taxagents.blog.gov.uk/2014/05/08/still-moving-and-improving-more-on-the-hmrc-websites-transition-to-gov-uk/

Still moving and improving: More on the HMRC website’s transition to GOV.UK

In March we blogged about HMRC’s web guidance and tools moving to the cross-Government GOV.UK website.

Since then, Statutory Pay and High Income Child Benefit Charge content has moved, with customers being automatically redirected from the HMRC website to GOV.UK. We’ve also been working with the Government Digital Service to develop new (or updated) content for Tax Credits, Child Benefit, PAYE and VAT, which will soon be available on GOV.UK.

We are developing a new service for our technical manuals too. We’ve selected the Employment Income Manual as our test case because it is heavily used, both by HMRC and external customers - and it contains all the features needed to test our users’ needs.

We’ll share a public beta (pilot) version of the new service in coming months, showing our initial thoughts and the progress we’ve made. You’ll also be able to give the development team direct feedback on the site - which will help us to check whether we’ve got the functionality right, and whether you find the service easy to use.

The service will be continually refined and improved throughout its development, and work to migrate our remaining manuals to GOV.UK will only begin after a period of extensive testing. This will take a number of months to complete, due to the size of the task – around 80,000 web pages.

Please use this blog to comment on the GOV.UK transition. Your views matter – and can make a real difference.

14 comments

  1. Daniel Chatfield

    I can't wait for this, the HMRC website is one of the worst websites I have to use.

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    • AB

      It would be a whole lot better if it had a decent search engine. I try to think of key words for my query but the top answers can be quite bizarre.

      Link to this comment Reply
      • Lissa Allcock

        You can use Google to search the HMRC site - if you use site:hmrc.gov.uk as one of your search terms that limits the Google search to run over their site. I agree it's frustrating that the site's own search engine is poor and am crossing my fingers for the new site, but hopefully you'll find this helpful in the short term.

        Link to this comment Reply
    • Kevin Ringer

      @Daniel - what do you find improved in the new site? Certainly not the search engine. I've tried a few search strings in both websites and found the new website returns even more irrelevant hits than the old one.

      Link to this comment Reply
  2. Lawrence How

    Please make what is on each page longer. It is a pain having to print off so many small bits.

    Link to this comment Reply
  3. Erica Scott

    As an accountant, I can't say that I'm looking forward to the move to GOV.UK. There's too much scrolling on this site - you lose half a page just on the titles alone - it'd be nice to see everything without having to constantly scroll up and down. Far too much white-space.

    For a while (I mean a few years ago) the HMRC site was actually ok, then they tinkered with the search facility and it's gone downhill since then.

    I guess this is what 'improving' means.......

    Link to this comment Reply
    • Conor

      Agreed. The layout is awful on this site and the sexiest Google-esque font in the world isn't gonna gloss over that.

      It smacks of software developers trying to be smart. Why is the Tags panel taking up so much space. Who actually cares what tags are in place. We've already found the page, so it adds no value...

      Link to this comment Reply
      • Erica Scott

        I was going to mention the tags too, but didn't want to be overly critical. Since you have mentioned them, yes, the tags thing needs sorted. It's HMRC and will never be (and should never be) a social network.

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  4. Siz

    Please Please Please ... include re-directs so that all the bookmarks that we have built up in the past still work. All commercial organisations do this - why are government departments so bad at it? I suppose they just don't care.

    Re the search engine, best solution is usually to use Google (or your favorite other search engines) and include a term such as 'site:hmrc.gov.uk' in the search bar to restrict the results to that domain

    Link to this comment Reply
    • Amanda T W

      If I need to find tax info, have found it so much easier to Google the question and am then directed directly to the page on HMRC's website

      Link to this comment Reply
  5. NS

    I agree with the above comments: .gov.uk is too spaced out, font is too large and generally annoying. Please fit more info on a page so we don't have to scroll so much. I've just looked at the high income child benefit charge pages in hope but was disappointed.

    Link to this comment Reply
  6. Kevin Ringer

    Compare https://taxagents.blog.gov.uk/2014/04/16/new-look-for-hmrc-online-services/ with the same announcement on the old website at http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/news/online-services-changes.htm. The latter is concise with relevant links around the border. The new website requires scrolling and is so full of clutter the actual content is harder to differentiate from the irrelevant links surrounding it. I can’t see anything better with the new website compared to the old.

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  7. TM

    The manuals are no longer coming up on google search and as a result it is taking three times as long to find information. Sort it out.

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