We have now held our first three workshops (council tax, births and jobs). The first two workshops were test runs. The teams knew they were having the process tested out on them, which made it a little less nerve-wracking to stand in front of them and ask them lots of questions about their service. Hopefully some of those nerves will disappear during the course of the next 70 workshops!
The test runs have already helped us tweak the workshop process, and it is quite likely to change again as we get more used to running them. At the moment though, we are starting each workshop by asking some core questions:
- Who are your customers?
- What tasks are they carrying out?
- How are they accessing your service?
- Why are they accessing you service?
These questions make sure we are being as customer focused as possible, teasing out of service teams the information they have on their customers and their tasks that perhaps we don’t see through the website.
The example below is from our jobs workshop. One of the key bits of information we got out of this was that the service needs to be truly accessible out of hours. It needs as much self-service as possible as more often than not, customers are using the jobs portal outside working hours, around their current jobs.
We are also looking to find out what impression a service team has on their digital situation. This means that we are discussing:
- the key statistics, such as the top page hits
- what type of content is available
- what they think are barriers to making the service as online as possible
These discussions have been informing us as to what tasks we need to be focusing on to meet customer needs.
We have then been using the information gathered in the first part of the workshop to start creating a user journey on the key task for the service area. We are helping the service team map out the main routes of access to a task and looking at what, in an ideal world, the customer will see and do.
I’ve drawn this out below to make it a little more legible – my board writing ability is obviously something I’m going to have to work on!
In the example of registering a birth, we discovered that new mothers in Bracknell Forest may have many routes into our website, such as from forums or midwife visits, as well as search engines.
Once they reach our website, the team were surprised at how formal the language we use sounded and want to make it more simple and friendly, with clearer calls to action.
At the moment, a customer must phone to book an appointment to register a birth, but the information surrounding this is online, so the journey brings them back to the site, where they can get the relevant information for the appointment, as well as signposts to other information such as passports and benefits.
So far, we have produced several of these hand-drawn user journeys, which we will now discuss further within our team and wire-frame, before building them into a beta site for customer testing to refine them. As soon as these are up and ready, we will post links for feedback.
If you want to take a look at how we are doing things now, why not take a look at our current jobs or births sections. We welcome any feedback on the current site so that we can take it forward into our beta version!