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Smart Answers

Smart answers are a great tool for content designers to present complex information in a quick and simple way. Defining what they are – decision trees? calculators? tools? is immaterial – what they do is provide a reusable technical framework to build a quick and simple answer to a complex question.

Read more in Lisa Scott's GDS blog post.


Student Finance Forms screenshot

Live examples


  • Smart Answer: The flow, questions and outcomes.

  • Flow: Defines the questions, outcomes and the rules for navigating between them.

  • Landing page: Contains a description of the Smart Answer and the "Start now" button that leads to the first question.

  • Question page: Contains an individual question that's asked in order to help arrive at at an outcome.

  • Outcome page: Contains the result of the Smart Answer based on responses to individual questions.

Technical documentation

This is a Ruby on Rails application that both contains and serves the Smart Answers stored in this repository. Smart Answers are presented to public users.

NOTE. This application doesn't use a database.

Read more about the structure and syntax of Smart Answers.


  • alphagov/static: provides static assets (JS/CSS) and the GOV.UK templates.

Running the application

See development using the GDS development virtual machine.

Running the test suite

$ bundle exec rake





MIT License

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