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Podcast: Understanding the complexity of users' lives

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: GOV.UK One Login, Podcast, User research

Photo of Charlotte Crossland (left) and Lauren Gorton (right)

In this month's episode of the Government Digital Service (GDS) Podcast, we're talking about user needs.

We have 2 user researchers (URs) from GDS, Lauren Gorton and Charlotte Crossland, joining us on this episode to share the work they and their colleagues have been doing to understand more about what service teams and their users need from government's new single sign-on and digital identity solution, GOV.UK Sign-In.

'Start with user needs' is the first of the government's Design Principles, but what does that mean in practice? We wanted to learn more about the approaches URs take to understand what services and products need to deliver.

In this episode, Lauren and Charlotte detail how they've collaborated with teams from different government departments to build on existing insights and gather new learning that is being used to help shape GDS's One Login for Government programme.

Also in this episode, we discuss the impacts of COVID-19 on the research community and how the mindsets model was used in favour of personas to provide a more accurate view of the complexity of real life.

Work with us

Interested in becoming an early adopter of government’s new single sign-on and digital identity solution, GOV.UK - or perhaps you’d like to share your insights with our programme team? Register your interest on our product page.

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  1. Comment by mary posted on


    Looking forward to listening to this podcast. Wondering why there isn't a transcript with it so that it is more accessible?


    • Replies to mary>

      Comment by The GDS Team posted on

      Hi Mary,

      We always link to the transcript, which is hosted on Podbean as soon as the episode goes live, at the bottom of our posts.

      The GDS Team

  2. Comment by john mortimer posted on

    The concepts of complexity in services is a key fundamental, that distinguishes complexity from designing transactional services. Complexity is such that some of the concepts and methods that we use in transaction design, are not suitable in person-centred design.
    It also brings in the application of the Double Diamond to move into co-design, and moving into the whole service, including staff teams and management approaches.
    Great to see this is being developed here.
    Going back in time, it would have been great if this was considered when Universal Credit was being developed.