Since we moved our content over to GOV.UK, we’ve been doing user research with customers. We’ve found that some customers have experienced difficulties finding or using the content on our GOV.UK pages.
So, over the past couple of weeks we’ve been doing further research with conveyancers and solicitors to get the detail we need to make improvements. We visited them at their offices to observe how they use GOV.UK to access our information and services.
There’s always something new to learn from listening to our customers. Sometimes they have similar views on GOV.UK to others, eg frustrations about accessing the practice guides or using the fee calculator. Other times you learn new things about their business practice. Such as the way they work with us, the online tools they use and their level of digital skills.
On the subject of practice guides, Katharine Fenn, Professional Support Lawyer at Fieldfisher said “I use practice guides every day. I want to go straight to the guide and not to a summary page first. I’d also like to be able to search within all the practice guides to find what I want.”
Elizabeth Bowers, a Paralegal at Shoosmiths also mentioned the need to get to content quickly, “When I click on a practice guide I don’t want an extra click, I want to get straight to it” and ” I use the top links within the practice guides to quickly find the section I’m looking for, but often scan the text for more info.”
A similar view to Kathryn Oie, Commercial Real Estate Lawyer at Herbert Smith Freehills who commented “I know where I want to end up, and want to get there in the least clicks”.
It’s good to hear that customers know the importance of using the most up to date practice guide: “I refer to them on screen. We don’t recommend people print them off as they might not be referring to the latest version” commented Kathryn Oie.
The fee calculator was another service that our customers spoke about: “I find the fee calculator is not helpful as it’s a very long list that’s not searchable. I usually print the fees leaflet to look up the fees I need.” said Katharine Fenn.
We’ve also found that some customers are now finding what they need a little easier on GOV.UK: “I’ve learnt to navigate my way around a little better” said Kathryn Oie.
We have completed 11 customer sessions, and we are now creating a report. This will detail the findings from the research, with evidence that is clear and actionable. All learnings will inform improvements to the user experience on GOV.UK.
Sometimes we are able to action these changes ourselves, and sometimes we need to discuss these with Government Digital Service. Sometimes we can fix it quickly, and sometimes changes are added to future roadmaps for developments.
User research is an ongoing programme for GOV.UK, and we’ll continue to work with GDS to make improvements. In the next phase we will go out to different types of customers eg property developers and local councils. If you’re interested in helping us in future, please email The Digital Team.