Gov WiFi beta reassessment

The report from the beta reassessment for GDS's Gov WiFi service on 27 April 2017.

From: Government Digital Service
Assessment date: 27 April 2017
Stage: Beta
Result: Met
Service provider: GDS

About the service


The service allows a person to connect to wifi in any government building which is participating in the GovWifi service.

Service users

The users of this service are civil servants, contractors, visitors to government buildings and service support teams.


The panel reassessed the team against the themes below.

The panel notes the dramatic turnaround in the attitude and preparation of the (new) team and would like this service to be shown as an exemplar of how to pivot a team’s approach after a service has failed an assessment.

User needs

The team has a mature understanding of its users. It can segment them quantitatively and describe their differing need. Specific effort has been put into functionality to meet specific needs, including the support that teams in departments will need to give the service. It is easy to adopt by service teams, and the end user experience is also getting better although the team should continue to work on this, and particularly on challenging the security assumptions currently built into the service.

The research on the product has been very thorough, and is collaborative across the team which is good to see.


The team was largely different in the reassessment from the one that the panel met before. They had approached the assessment with integrity and had prepared well. The team was markedly more cohesive in its current iteration, and had clear shared goals as well as strong and positive relationships. The team talked over each other in the assessment, not to interrupt but to support each other, and the eagerness to show enthusiasm for the product was heartening.

The team has clearly defined roles and each member is aware of its own remit, but tasks can be shared in a good t-shaped model. The team is sustainable but recognises it needs more engagement with departments in order to be able to scale - the panel has a recommendation below to cover this.


The technical design of the product is sound and the team has not made major iterations since the original assessment. The panel notes the improvement in the quality of documentation offered to technical teams looking to adopt Gov Wifi.


The visual design of the product has not gone through major iteration since the original reassessment, but this is not a concern for the panel. The content, by contrast, has come on leaps and bounds since last year and the panel was extremely impressed both in the speed of iteration and in the overall quality of the content. The content designer has taken control of the posters and prompts put into adoptee sites, which is great to see - too often service teams consider physically content challenges as out of scope, but for this service it’s key for adoption.


The team has made good progress in the use of analytics. A traditional analytics package such as GA isn’t completely appropriate to this service, so the team has had to be creative about how it gathers data about the service.

The team is now very data driven in how it iterates the service, and can quantify many of its key metrics. It should continue to work on maturing its analytics as the service scales. It is still a gap, and this gap will be exposed during scaling - the recommendations below reflect this.


The service team should

  • Obtain a breakdown of devices using the text journey to access the service
  • Get better data on the satisfaction of failed users and breakdown of that
  • Better project user numbers over time based on key decisions by departments
  • Continue to iterate help messaging for guest users
  • Clarity their approach to assisted digital within the team
  • Work hard to make sure initial credentials for the service are as usable as possible

The service team is to be commended on

  • The improvement in their approach to assessment
  • The quality of content iteration and general approach to content
  • Their teamwork
  • Their wide knowledge of user needs
  • Improvements in using data to improve the service

Get advice and guidance

The team can get advice and guidance on the next stage of development by:

Digital Service Standard points

Point Description Result
1 Understanding user needs Met
2 Improving the service based on user research and usability testing Met
3 Having a sustainable, multidisciplinary team in place Met
4 Building using agile, iterative and user-centred methods Met
5 Iterating and improving the service on a frequent basis Met
6 Evaluating tools, systems, and ways of procuring them Met
7 Managing data, security level, legal responsibilities, privacy issues and risks Met
8 Making code available as open source Met
9 Using open standards and common government platforms Met
10 Testing the end-to-end service, and browser and device testing Met
11 Planning for the service being taken temporarily offline Met
12 Creating a simple and intuitive service Met
13 Ensuring consistency with the design and style of GOV.UK Met
14 Encouraging digital take-up N/A
15 Using analytics tools to collect and act on performance data Met
16 Defining KPIs and establishing performance benchmarks Met
17 Reporting performance data on the Performance Platform Met
18 Testing the service with the minister responsible for it N/A
Published 24 July 2018