DirectScot is an experimental prototype of a public service website for Scotland. Developed by the Scottish Government, it is a response to the ongoing debate on how government services can be delivered more efficiently in the digital age.
It provides information and services from a wide variety of sources, and aims to be simple, intuitive and to put the needs of users first. It attempts to blend information, services and campaign material from across government, at a national level from Directgov and Scotland.gov.uk and from four of Scotland's 32 local authorities: Edinburgh City, Midlothian, South Lanarkshire and East Lothian. Using automatic location detection, it tailors the results of searches to particular local authority areas. As it is an experimental prototype, it is neither comprehensive or fully robust, however, the developers are currently looking to get feedback from users in order to improve it and ensure it develops into a comprehensive and helpful resource.
The site can be searched by topic, some of which include adult care services, caring for someone, disabled people, home and community, education and learning, employment, child and family care services, pensions and retirement planning, and social care and health. It also has a campaigns sections, which brings together campaigns under headings, such as Healthier Scotland, Natural Scotland, One Scotland, Safer Scotland and Smarter Scotland.
DirectScot also features a data section, which intends to aggregate and release public data to help people understand how government works and how policies are made. This part of the site is still under development the intention is that it will support the drive for openness in government.
A business area is also being developed which includes information on buying or selling a business, employment skills, and finance and grants.
Update 2016: directscot.org (website no longer available)