This session describes two very different UK government projects where we have taken a UX and user needs driven development approach. The presentation will show how using key UX techniques like guerrilla testing we have been able to influence and change the set in stone government policy.
The first project is the new digital Carer's Allowance service. We will explain UX techniques which brought the average claim entry time down from 1 hour to 16 minutes and ensured a doubling in the digital uptake percentage. More importantly we can explain how guerrilla testing for what is a very emotive benefit allowed us to soften and even remove question considered mandatory by the policy team. We will show a number of videos of the real user testing, some of these are humorous, but the really powerful clips show how some real users a brought to tears by some of the original questions. These testing clips really resonated with the policy team who allowed change when they were presented with the tangible evidence.
The second project is an Asbestos App for the UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Here we were able to use UX techniques to ensure we targeted the most at risk from asbestos, which is very difficult due to a significant amount of misinformation and macho peer pressure. The guerrilla testing helped the HSE amend very strict guidance which focuses on always avoiding asbestos to accepting that the target audience will need the safety information to identify and deal with the asbestos risk appropriately. Very surprisingly the guerrilla testing also ensured a change in behaviour for several of the real test subjects who made an immediate decision to review their current project or arrange a doctors visit.
Previously these two separate government departments had only worked with the waterfall approach, this resulted in big bang deliveries, which were 100% driven by legal and policy in a legislation first approach. One of the biggest problems we found was there was no analytics or evidence to measure what areas were working or failing.
We took a user needs focused approach on both these projects. Using an agile approach we incorporated iterations of prototyping, guerrilla testing and user insight testing which dovetailed into the development teams continuous delivery cadence. It was important that we incorporated qualitative and quantative testing along with important UX techniques such as:
- Customer journey mapping
- Affinity sorting
- Focusing on content editorial, removing jargon and focusing on the concept of plain English
- Guerrilla testing
- Pop up testing
- User Insight
- Analysing Google Analytics to understand completion rates, drop off points and time taken