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GOV.UK - what we’re working on: January 2017

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Digital services

Content designer working on dual screens with light bulb above head signifying a positive idea.

Success story

It’s so nice to start the year with a positive change. Last month, a colleague in our Service Access Team, who deals with applications for our Business e-services, had a bright idea. She wanted to help reduce the number of errors we receive in applications because when they’re wrong we have to send them back.

The problems

Customers were using the wrong Variable Direct Debit forms and filling them in incorrectly. We have two forms:

  • one to set up VDD to use Business e-services with a mandate field to leave blank
  • one to amend existing bank account contact details with mandate number to add, if known

Customers were either filling in the mandate field or using the wrong VDD form.

The solution

My colleague went to her manager, who I’d worked with before on improvements to GOV.UK. She suggested getting in touch with the Digital Team.

After she had explained the issues, I discussed the wording of the text on the page with my colleagues in the Service Access Team and Finance. I then liaised with the Design Team to get the form adjusted; adding more details in brackets above the relevant mandate field.


After we made the changes online, the number of these applications with errors dropped from 35% in November to 5% in December!

It’s nice to see ideas put into motion very quickly online and seeing these ideas having an immediate impact on improving the business.

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