I have recently been reading ‘How Google Works’ by Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg. It is an interesting book for all sorts of reasons and it something I am sure I will return to and refer to in the future but for now the element that has stuck with me is the idea of ‘believing your own slogans’.
The Government Digital Service are brilliant at this – early on they talked a lot about ‘simpler, clearer, faster’ and more recently this has been superseded by ‘digital services so good people prefer to use them’ at least in my consciousness (not to mention ‘users first’ and ‘delivery is the strategy’). It is noticeable just how prevalent that phrase is in every presentation, interview and blogpost from anybody at GDS. They believe in it. It means something to them and it resonates with a wider audience as well.
Our ambitions here are different and less well articulated (so far). I talk a lot about getting to a point where ‘the website is not the story’. I think I even proposed it as one of my objectives! It isn’t really right though and doesn’t do justice to what we are trying to build. What we are trying to do is build a website that gets out of the way of our users and lets them do what they need to do without distraction and then when they have more complex requirements it elegantly facilitates those needs. The point being that the website is simply a platform for the discovery, manipulation and analysis of statistics and the less it is noticed the better.
So this is my proposal for a slogan for our work;
A website so good people forget they are using it.