Hello. This is a blog from the Web Centre team working in the Houses of Parliament.

Aside from keeping the site up and running and doing daily updates, our team spends its time working on developing the website.

We want to tell you about what we’re doing and why.

Our website, in 1996, looked like this:

(See more on the Wayback Machine – Parliament website in 1996)

The design, IA and content was given a makeover in 2002:

(Wayback Machine – Parliament website in 2002)

And that is how our site looked when the House of Commons Modernisation Committee published its report ‘Connecting Parliament with the Public‘ (PDF version) in June 2004.

The report made recommendations like:

We are convinced of the need for a radical upgrading of the website at an early opportunity, which will require significant investment in systems and staff.

And…

We recommend that, as development of the website progresses, the House authorities, in consultation with young people, develop the website in a form which is more accessible to them.

This report led to the gradual, then rapid expansion of the Web Centre team from early 2005 onwards. So, from a staff of two, we now have eighteen people split across design, editorial and production.

One of the earliest big pieces of work we did was to redesign the top-level pages, change some of the IA, and launch a new section called About Parliament explaining Parliament’s role, work and how you can visit. This went live in September 2006, and with a later tweak of our global navigation our website now looks like this:

Since then, we have launched many improvements and new services to the website, including:

And we’re not finished. We’re currently working on further developments across the site – our Hansard pages and Find your MP service are examples – and we’ll be updating this blog as they happen.

We would like to hear your ideas on what we’re doing, or should be doing, so please use the comments facility in the posts or email the team direct through webmaster@parliament.uk

Postscript

Q. What’s with all those older posts?

A. This blog started out on our intranet, so we’ve moved the older content over.

UPDATE!

Doesn’t time fly? We’ve made significant improvements to the website, again, including a new look, improved calendar, new areas… Many good things. The site now looks like this:

homepage-grab

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