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GOV.UK Verify

GOV.UK Verify: Technical delivery update, 23 February 2016

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This blog post is for anyone interested in the technical development of GOV.UK Verify.

In our first technical delivery update we explained that there are 3 parts to GOV.UK Verify and the delivery team is responsible for building and maintaining 2 of them: the GOV.UK Verify hub and Document Checking Service.

The delivery team is made up of developers, engineers, analysts, product managers, delivery managers, designers, researchers, content designers and architects. Currently, we’re working on 3 technical delivery priorities: increasing adoption of GOV.UK Verify; improving and maintaining GOV.UK Verify; and meeting the Digital by Default Service Standard for a Live service.

Here’s what we’ve been working on since the last update, and what we plan to do next.

Increasing adoption of GOV.UK Verify

We want departments across government to adopt GOV.UK Verify increasingly as it progresses from beta to live because it’s secure, straightforward and meets the needs of their users. To improve GOV.UK Verify and make it better for end users, since our last update we’ve:

  • started A/B testing an improved  ‘Can I be verified?’ page. The new design aims to filter users who do not have an address in the UK and therefore cannot be verified so we can tell them GOV.UK Verify won’t work for them before they choose a certified company, and direct them to another way to access the service they want to use. We hope to conclude the test later this week.
  • continued to make changes to prepare for the new certified companies joining GOV.UK Verify soon. For example, we will need to change some of the questions to reflect the different methods new providers will be offering.

Improving and maintaining GOV.UK Verify

We want to continue to improve the way we run the GOV.UK Verify federation and ensure we’re ready to run a Live service come April 2016. To continue to keep GOV.UK Verify available and secure we’ve:

  • released a new version of the Matching Service Adapter (MSA) to add support for multiple signing keys. The MSA is a tool which simplifies the integration of digital services with GOV.UK Verify. This update will further reduce disruption to users when government departments rotate their signing & encryption keys.

Meeting the Digital by Default Service Standard for a Live service

In previous technical delivery updates, we’ve written about the things we’ve done to the GOV.UK Verify codebase to tidy up the accumulated impact of having made a lot of different changes over time. In preparation to go live in April, our focus has shifted to completing any outstanding work required for us to meet the criteria of the Digital by Default Service Standard. Over the last 2 weeks we’ve:

  • continued to rebuild our frontend application (the bits of GOV.UK Verify that users see). The new frontend is being built in the open and will allow users to use GOV.UK Verify in Welsh.

Things we plan to do next

In the coming 2 to 3 weeks we expect to continue to:

  • perform A/B tests to optimise the hub for users
  • prepare changes needed to accommodate the new certified companies that will be connecting to GOV.UK Verify
  • continue to rebuild the frontend
  • maintain and improve the service

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