New gov.uk website

Every time I've visited the UK Government website, I've tried to hurry my way through the horrific layout, the contrasting colour schemes and the complete lack of content organisation. Each time it has been a chore and I've always vowed that "I won't be doing that again" but it never happens, I renew my tax disc online because it's quicker and about once a month I need to find some information out.

Thankfully the Government have finally stepped up their game and are joining the leagues of the big boys by getting a total and might I had awesome refresh. Whilst it's not responsive, it's a far superior effort compared to their current site - I know, responsive is just another buzzword, but with the amount of tablets and mobile devices being used today, it's well worth making any website that's used by the majority of the population fit on their devices.

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It's a clean and fresh re-design, bettering that of the recently updated Police.uk website. I decided to try out something I do every 6 months, renew a tax disc.

What's that? Search Suggestions!?

Search suggestions have become common place online, Google & Bing use them to give you suggestions on common search queries, Caribbean Warehouse use them to suggest hotel names, it speeds up how quickly the user inteacts with the website and makes things 10 fold easier for them.

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All I had to do was type "tax disc" and I was already on my way to renewing. Even better, if you don't make good use of the suggestions and click Search* regardless, you're given actual useful and friendly looking search results!

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Yeah, I like this. Although something I did notice was that the search suggestions are listed in the same order as the results page. Not sure why this is, but if the user accidentally hits Return and goes for the first result, they could become irritated when they go to the wrong page.

That's it?

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Yeah, I'm now able to go straight ahead and start getting a new tax disc. Previously I'd have spent a good few minutes stumbling through the mess that is direct.gov.uk.

As a comparison...

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Ok, so the result I'm after is top of the list, however the description underneath doesn't mention that you can apply online, only how to which makes me sigh with angst that I'll be forever looking for the place to actually apply.

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What does it mean Taxing your car with a reminder I just want to tax. By the time you've finished reading the results, you're asking yourself if you are indeed disabled since you can't make head or tail of the results list. Assuming we click the first item...

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Why is the Apply for a tax disc online or by phone option right down at the bottom? The information is kept away, hidden like that dirty little secret.
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But well done Government, you've managed to get a website created that's 100% better than the current one. Perhaps you'll even get the website to work on mobile devices so I can tax my car, whilst in my car? Not driving at the same time of course...


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