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  1. Service manual
  2. Design
  3. Start pages

If you’re building a digital service, you’ll need to provide a starting point for users on GOV.UK.

Why your service must start on GOV.UK

All services in public beta or live must have a starting point hosted on GOV.UK. This will link your service to the rest of GOV.UK.

Example

Screenshot 2016-12-06 at 16.45.16.png

You can also check the Pay a DVLA fine start page.

Start-page elements

Start pages include 4 main elements:

  1. The service name: this should help people understand what your service does and whether they need to use it - learn more about naming your service.
  2. A short introduction to list things that most users will need to know - for example what your service will let them do or how much it’ll cost.
  3. The ‘Start now’ call-to-action button.
  4. A list of other ways to access your service.

Testing start pages in discovery and alpha

If you want to prototype designs so you can test them with users, you can use the start page template in the GOV.UK Prototype Kit.

Get a start page for your beta or live service

Contact your organisation’s content team to get a start page on GOV.UK for your public beta or live service. They’ll need to make a content request.

When you contact your organisation’s content team, tell them:

  • what the service is and who it’s for
  • the user needs it meets
  • any eligibility criteria or restrictions that might stop someone from using your service
  • the documents or information that a person will need to use the service, for example their vehicle’s registration number and a debit or credit card
  • other ways that users can complete the task your service provides (for example by phone or post)
  • when your service is expected to pass its beta assessment

You must also provide access to a preview (demo) version of your service if there is one, including any username and password they will need.

In most cases, the GOV.UK content team will create a start page for you. If this isn’t the best way to meet the user need, they’ll recommend another way of joining up with the rest of GOV.UK.

When to make your request

You should contact your organisation’s content team to discuss your start page and feedback page at least 1 month before your beta assessment. When planning your beta launch, your own and GOV.UK’s central content team will need to review your request, write the content and, for complex services, send you the page to fact check it.

GOV.UK will only publish your start page when your service:

  • passes its beta assessment or self-certification
  • goes into public beta

Discuss start pages

Discuss start pages on the design patterns wiki.

You may also find these guides useful:

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