https://blog-digitalparliament.scot/first-version-of-the-new-scottish-parliament-website

First version of the new Scottish Parliament website is live

We’re pleased to announce the first version of the new Scottish Parliament website is now live (from 28 February 2019). You may have heard this new website is called a ‘beta’. This means it’s ready for the public and staff to use and give feedback but it's still a work in progress.

What's on the new website?

From September 2017 through to March 2018, we asked users of the old website what the ‘top tasks’ they had come to do were. Around 1,500 people took part and our users’ top 3 priorities were:

  1. Legislation
  2. What was said in Parliament
  3. Questions and answers

We chose a user-centred approach to design our new website to deliver these 3 tasks. We interviewed people from across our different user groups to ensure we were giving them the information they need in the format they want it in.

This user-focused approach exposed some duplication between the second and third tasks. So, we merged them into ‘Parliamentary Debates and Questions’. This task is now made up of:

  • data from the Official Report
  • videos of the proceedings in Chamber and Committee meetings
  • written questions and answers

We’ve also delivered a new approach to presenting proposed laws (Bills) including:

  • a Bills landing page
  • one previous Bill – Social Security (Scotland) Bill
  • one current Bill – Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Bill
  • brief, plain English summaries

Finally, across the website, we’ve delivered:

  • improved search functionality that includes the ability to filter by keywords
  • a design that responds to different devices, like phones, and has been designed with mobile users in mind
  • a website that’s accessible – this means people with various access issues can use it, providing equal access to all users
  • improved analytics and on-page feedback so we can ensure people are getting what they need from our website and continuously improve it based on our findings

Technical Improvements

Along with our user-centred design approach, we've used cloud infrastructure and new software solutions (e.g. Azure Search and Sitecore, the new content management system).

These foundations will improve our future security and resilience as well as supporting our future online ambitions.

Here's an infographic about the steps we've taken from our first research to launching the new website:

This image shows the journey from our first bit of research to launching the first version of the new website.
Timeline from the start of our research to the launch of the first version of the new website.

What's next?

The first version of the new website represents a new user-centred approach to how Parliament develops its products and services.

The website will never be ‘done’, because users’ needs and behaviours change over time and we need to adapt what we've created to reflect those changes.

This is only the first version of our new website.

Over the coming months, we'll:

  • continue to deliver the remaining top tasks
  • improve the new website, including adding features that we decided were not critical for the launch
  • use the design work we’ve done to create a design system so that our online products and services are consistent
  • identify where we can simplify the Parliament’s web and online presence

All users including members of the public, staff, MSPs and their staff are encouraged to give constructive feedback. This will help us make sure we have one of the best parliamentary websites.

If you have any feedback or questions, please email the Web & Online project team or via our new website's feedback survey.