This week, Cath Richardson and Jon Rimmer talk about some of the user research methods we are using at GDS to help us understand how people use our online services.
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Cath Richardson, User researcher: I'm Cath, I'm a user researcher at GDS. One of the things that we made for SPRINT GO was these user research activity cards. We wanted to give people something tangible to go away with that would inspire them to think about different ways they could do user research. Right now one that I'm using a lot is Remote research - so that is phoning people up, doing some screen sharing, and looking at something together and getting their feedback in a really quick way. Each card has a description of what it is and then a little bit more detail on the back as to how you might use it, where you might use it and the kind of things you should take into account when you're doing this in your research. We're also asking people to give us feedback on the cards, so on the very front one we have an email address: firstname.lastname@example.org so people who are using the cards and are giving them a go, we're really interested to get your feedback.
Digital Inclusion scale
Jon Rimmer, User researcher: My name is Jon Rimmer, I work on the Digital Inclusion team as a user researcher. We've developed a scale to work out the landscape of who's online and who's offline. We've got 21% of the population that lack basic online skills. So having mapped out where those people are on the scale, we are then able to work out what sort of initiatives we can do to encourage people to get online. It also allows you to plot where your transactions are, what are the skills that are required in order to independently complete that transaction, and what you can do is see if there's any disconnect, so if the majority of your service users lie to the left of that transaction, as in they are not necessarily skilled enough to independently complete that transaction, then you need to either simplify that transaction online or provide support and upskilling to your service users.