These notes cover 27–30 August briefly. I didn’t write anything before I went on holiday to Vancouver last week, so they’re lacking in detail because I can’t remember much of it. Nevertheless, it was a big week and big stuff happened, so I should record it.

Two Things That Happened

We did more things than this


Much of the week was spent on getting the Get ready for Brexit checker out the door. It’s a huge information campaign and was trending on Twitter last weekend and last Monday. As I’ve not been back into the office after my holiday yet, I’ve no information right now about how it’s doing and whether the product is delivering value. Can’t wait to hear the outputs of other user research sessions.

It had mixed reviews from both the public and ex-GDS folk, but Paul was correct in saying that we were (and remain) ‘real humans work[ing] on the site and are just following ministerial direction’. As technologists working on GOV.UK, we can’t address the policy but we can help people get information about how to live their lives as affected by policy. Indeed, we worked long hours, into the night and over the weekend, to put that information in people’s hands and allow them to stay up-to-date with any changes.

So I’d like to thank everyone who put their effort in to make that happen – it was a rarely needed burst of urgent effort and everyone acted with true professionalism.


We spent the morning with Google’s Civics team who came to chat about mark-up. They’d like to consult us on government-related schemas and it’s an honour to be involved in open standards work.