Supporting Scotland’s businesses

September 11, 2015 by No Comments | Category Digital Public Services, Digital Scotland,

Over the last 100 days, we’ve been finalising what’s needed to close the Scottish Business Portal and move the website’s content and tools on to

The portal ( was originally designed to bring business service and support information into one place – pulling content via an API from partner websites like Business Gateway, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands & Islands Enterprise, Skills Development Scotland and GOV.UK. It also hosted interactive tools to calculate business rates and access funding opportunities.

This will now be taken forward within and the mygov team is, therefore, keen to work with business stakeholders and users to ensure that the content is kept up-to-date, continuously improved and is responsive to the needs of Scottish business users. We’ll also be using analytics to help us make design decisions to improve the user experience.

What does this mean for you?

A banner is now on the portal to announce its closure on 14 September. To further support users, we’re directing the high traffic pages to equivalent information on the website.

While the URL redirects to will make sure there are no broken links for users when we switch off the portal, we are asking our partners who currently link to the business portal to review and update their links to the new pages on The benefit of this will be a clearer journey for users – knowing where the link is taking them – and the pages will load quicker.

How we transferred the content

We transferred the portal’s content to in 3 stages:

  • tools, high demand and unique content (including the funding opportunities tool and the business rates calculator)
  • Scottish business support services
  • GOV.UK content (for example tax advice from HMRC)

As part of this transfer (which was helped massively by our content rally), we reviewed the content and its usability before showing our key partners our progress and what the decommissioning process would involve.

How we improved the business rates calculator

The business rates calculator is one of the most visited sites on the portal. We gathered ideas from stakeholders and fully tested proposed changes with real users, ensuring our improvements enhanced their experience of the calculator. The business rates calculator now:

  • has been optimised for tablet and mobile use
  • displays ‘what you need to know’ information upfront before starting the calculator
  • is easier to find online with its own page and listing on
  • has no loss of navigation or content if the ‘back’ button is used
  • allows search results to be emailed to support use on smartphones
  • provides direct access to relevant council website pages with the new local authority finder

The next 100 days

Our next phase of work will focus on the experience of business users looking to export. This will allow us to further implement our content strategy which puts users before organisations and services, with a clear focus on journeys and tasks to develop our understanding of complex needs.

We are collaborating with key partners across the business sector to understand the landscape of existing services, who their users are and to share outputs such as user research. We are also continuing our work with UK Government’s Digital Service (GDS) to improve the journey between devolved and reserved services.

If you would like to know more about the work or please follow the team via @mygovscot on Twitter for more updates.

Please leave comments below, we’d love to hear from you.



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