Portal Guide e-DS1

As I mentioned in my previous post ‘A day in the like of a GOV.UK content editor’, one of my current projects on GOV.UK is turning our 37 portal guides which are currently PDFs into web pages. The PDFs are not accessible for screen readers and other assisted digital tools. The Land Registry portal is a secure website where professionals can access our business e-services.

Our first new versions of portal guides went live on 18 September: a guide for lenders who use portal, How to discharge a charge (e-DS1) and another about How to make a day list enquiry. This is part of ongoing improvement to our content on GOV.UK.

Improved search results

The new guides on GOV.UK are searchable and will also replace the YouTube videos in due time. The content is clearer, more concise and easier to read. One of the guides we’ve published was 32 pages long as a PDF. It’s now only 8 pages, saving paper for those customers that like to print.

So how did we do it?

I started at the beginning of June by getting together with colleagues who could help me with this task. It has not been a simple process!

To improve the image quality of the screenshots, I needed to take new ones. Our graphics team taught me the basics of Illustrator so I could do the work: take the screenshots of the portal screens, crop them and number the steps.

For accessing the various steps required within the guides, I needed the Information System delivery team to give me dummy profiles and logins for the 5 different roles that use portal:

• General access
• General access + EDRS
• Lender
• Network service access
• Business unit admin

Each of these portal roles can execute a different task on portal and not access the same Business e-services sections.

For copying the text of the guides from PDF into Word, a colleague in the digital team helped, as well as a work experience student in the summer.

To edit the text into plain English, making sure I kept the legal and technical meaning, I worked with various portal experts across Land Registry.

Final review

For reviewing the draft guides, I needed experts who use portal and help customers use portal when they have a query. So I asked colleagues in our customer contact centre and test team in Operational Change, Delivery and Support to review my drafts. They fact-checked the guides for accuracy on the various steps required.

Finally the product owner reviewed and approved the guide before it was published on GOV.UK.

The result is that the portal guides will be searchable, easier to find and easier to understand.


Stephanie Hill
By Stephanie Hill,
Web content manager at Land Registry