Meeting the needs of users
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Office for National Statistics (ONS) realise that increasing their web audience is absolutely key to their success. As such, they are using a range of tools and techniques to ensure they meet the......

Office for National Statistics (ONS) realise that increasing their web audience is absolutely key to their success. As such, they are using a range of tools and techniques to ensure they meet the needs of their customers both now and in the future. Alison Saunders, Head of User Insight, will explain why this is a time for great opportunities at ONS and share detailed insight and examples which you can use to help meet the needs of your own users and inform your digital projects.

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  • ONS is required to deliver the necessary innovation in data gathering, processing, analysis and publication to lead within a highly competitive field, exploiting new digital channels to engage with ONS customers and users can be transformed into the action plan as outlined below with timescales and dependencies. <br />   <br /> User Insight can enable an innovative way of improving existing products and designing and implementing new ones. We are now at the optimum time to exploit new digital channels to engage with our users whilst raising awareness across the Office of the importance of user insight and its contribution to continuous improvement. <br />   <br /> ONS needs to commit to putting the user at the heart of what we do and act on insight gained through activities such as user testing, web analytics, social, media engagement and customer/stakeholder satisfaction surveys. <br />   <br /> Once we have this commitment and have established a robust cycle of insight and implementation we will be able to measure the business impact of user testing activity in terms of increased user knowledge/understanding, increased take-up and reduced failure demand (ie, reduced complaints and calls to the contact centre) <br />
  • In order to increase our online audience, we need to answer key questions including: <br /> Who are our current customers? <br /> Who do we want to be our key audience? <br /> What business changes would be needed to <br /> accommodate these customers? <br /> Who are the internal and external stakeholders <br /> involved in that change? <br />
  • Personas are a highly effective way of distilling essential information about the target audience. They are detailed descriptions of ‘archetyped’ people that interact with the site. These are used as tools to drive development and encourage cross-communication between different stakeholders – rather than talking abstractly about ‘customers’ we will begin to talk about the Inquiring citizen and her goals in a way that provide effective and focused input. <br /> These personas are preliminary and will benefit from feedback and refinement from ONS stakeholders. They will then be used as a tool to drive further development decisions and ensure that we are developing and designing in an appropriately user-centred fashion. <br /> Note that a single individual may shift between persona types.  For example, academics might be expert analysts for their research, but may be foraging for information on a number of issues outside of their expertise to support their teaching <br />
  • … works at as a statistician for HM Treasury. He has a PhD in statistics. He has a reasonable level of autonomy in his job. He knows ONS quite well and has contacts within the ONS with whom he can discuss problems or things he does not understand. <br /> Key Goals <br /> Find a particular Excel spreadsheet to download, without being distracted by similar-sounding information <br /> Cut and paste data from spreadsheets into own statistical models and analyses <br /> Re-find datasets that he has previously found <br /> Find the latest latest report/dataset for a particular data series <br /> Create a bespoke dataset, tailored to exactly to support the statistical models he is creating <br /> Sometimes uses a reference code to search for datasets <br /> Viewing all versions of a particular dataset <br /> Find out when the next version of a dataset will be released <br /> Behaviour <br /> Tends to know exactly what he wants, but can be frustrated by not being able to find it quickly on the ONS website <br /> Phone the ONS for help in finding specific data or querying methodology <br /> Access ONS website from desktop PC in office <br /> May be critical about mistakes and shortcomings in the provision of statistics <br /> Tends to use Google to search the site as has little confidence in site search <br /> Motivators <br /> It’s part of his job to analyse data <br /> Has a passion for data and needs reliable, high quality data so that he can feel confident in his analyses <br />
  • Goals <br /> Looking for data that can be used to make practical, strategic decisions for her business <br /> Wants to see high level summaries, narratives and key charts that provide context for deeper understanding <br /> Occasionally downloads datasets for simple analysis if necessary <br /> Wants to keep up to date with latest economic and population data <br /> Usually looking for time series and comparison data (e.g. local v national) in order to be able to predict future opportunities <br /> Produce charts and statistics to support arguments in funding applications and strategy reports <br /> Behaviours <br /> Proactive - seeking knowledge to affect change <br /> Don’t know exactly what to search for, but aware of general area <br /> Basic working knowledge of statistics and Excel, but by no means an expert <br /> Signed up for ONS alerts - to keep up to date <br /> Tend to take ONS statistics at face value <br /> Usually time pressured - needs to understand size of task <br /> Motivators <br /> She is intrinsically motivated, and appreciates that sector knowledge can help her and her company to be a success <br /> Although not officially part of her job, using ONS data provides added value or advantage to her over her colleagues or competitor companies <br />
  • Goals <br /> Finding out the unbiased ‘truth’ about information presented by the media and political parties <br /> Finding out about economic indicators such as RPI in order to be able to make informed decisions about pensions and investments <br /> Finding out about newsworthy topics such as immigration, house prices, inflation, the cost of living, economic growth <br /> Wants to find simply worded, high level summaries and narratives of newsworthy issues <br /> See charts and infographics to get visually engaging overview of key data and trends <br /> Behaviours <br /> Tends to be reactive to current events <br /> Doesn’t download datasets <br /> Engaged with social media; follows the ONS on Twitter <br /> May take part in discussions around issues on newspaper websites <br /> Occasional visitor to ONS website <br /> May browse the site with her smartphone or tablet sometimes <br /> Motivators <br /> Personal/political interest <br /> Financial implications of the economy (e.g. for pensions & investments) <br /> Has an enquiring mind; looking to make sense of the world <br /> Distrust of big business and government; looking for a trustworthy source of information <br /> PROMISCUOUS – REMEMBER COMPETITION FROM OTHERS <br /> USE LESS JARGON – USE TERMS THAT ARE WIDELY UNDERSTOOD! <br /> SHE HAS LOWER ATTENTION SPAN <br /> SAVE HER SCREEN PAIN – SHE WILL PROBABLY BE SCANNING ONLY (E:MAIL TRIAGE) <br /> WE MUST USE TERMS THAT WILL INCREASDE OUR SEO/ RANKING <br />
  • The existence of Personas has important implications for the way that the design of the ONS website should evolve in the future <br /> Having just three personas, who we feel cover the broad range of behaviours that ONS site users possess, allows for a clear focus on the key user issues <br /> The whole brand of the ONS is built on quality and trust i.e. quality research and analysis, from an independent, objective source <br /> Christine relies on the ONS for this, and any suggestion that the ONS are anything less than 100% independent would immediately alienate her. <br /> It is important to note that individuals may shift between persona types.  For example, an analyst who is normally a &apos;data expert&apos; (or whatever we call it) might become an evidence researcher if they are out of their subject-specifc comfort zone.  Academics might be data experts for their research, but evidence researchers for teaching.  Journalists could be citizens if they are just after high level stats, but evidence researchers if they are putting together a more detailed analysis <br />
  • The Expert Analyst is primarily interested in downloading datasets – so the site should feel simpler overall. <br /> The Information Forager and Inquiring Citizen are not statistical experts <br /> Removing extraneous content to avoid confusion (e.g. releases) <br /> Simpler design (less clutter, easier on the eye) <br /> Reducing the number of content types and ways of displaying them <br /> Reducing the complexity of language <br /> Displaying fewer but more important items <br />
  • The concept of a single view of a website is dead <br /> While the Expert Analyst will primarily use desktop/laptop to access the site, the Information Forager <br /> and particularly the Inquiring Citizen will sometimes use a tablet or smartphone. <br /> This requires a more responsive design for the ONS website - to adapt to the device it is being viewed on). <br /> 50% OF THE BBC AUDIENCE CONSUMES NEWS ONLINE VIA THEIR MOBILE! <br />
  • To understand the way users interact with our websites, apps or systems and help deliver an experience that meets their specific needs. <br /> To drive user experience and requirements analysis across the Digital Content team and other key stakeholders <br /> To understand business goals and processes and identify user requirements through research and testing. <br /> Develop solutions based on our findings, eg sitemaps, user flows, navigation models, wireframes or prototypes. <br /> Test these solutions with the users and adapt as necessary. <br /> Web analytics - Focusing web metric on the analysis of behaviours and journeys and structured around specific products: <br /> This will enable us to notice problems, trends and anomalies <br />   <br /> This analysis should provide the business with a far more compelling case for change - supported by user testing - to understand user needs and reaction to the change <br />
  • Rather than simply incorporating the word &apos;user&apos; into our everyday language, we will define who the users are who consume our content and visit our website. <br /> In order to create rich and complete user experiences focused on our target audience, DP will create Personas which will put a &apos;face&apos; on the user and provide a design target for future web enhancements. <br /> These Personas will allow us to bring to life what we already think we know about our users. They will be compelling, data driven, well communicated and disseminated across the IDP and the wider Office through a series of planned communications <br /> We will create a user testing lab on site at Newport. This facility will provide ONS with a cost efficient focal point for user testing. Its primary benefit will be to standardise the way we engage with users in testing our products, be they web pages, online and offline documents or now logo designs. We will ensure that the user testing activity is versatile enough to suit the changing needs of the Office by including local and remote testing, incorporating mobile technology and enabling accessibility issues to be identified. <br /> We will guard against failure by putting place critical success factors and SMART team objectives <br />
  • User Testing Lab <br /> We are creating a user testing (UT) lab on site at Newport. <br /> This facility will provide ONS with a cost efficient focal point for user testing. <br /> Its primary benefit will be to standardise the way we engage with users in testing our products, be they web pages, online and offline documents or designs. <br /> We will ensure that the user testing activity is versatile enough to suit the changing needs of the Office by including local and remote testing, incorporating mobile technology and enabling accessibility issues to be identified. <br /> Methodology (Jayne Olney) supports the UT lab by providing resource and expertise. They will provide validation of UT approach and how best to track and report business impact, VfM and ROI <br />

Transcript

  • 1. Meeting the needs of our users Alison Saunders Head of User Insight, ONS.
  • 2. Introduction • User Insight provides an innovative way of improving existing products and design • We are exploiting new digital channels to engage with our users • Collaboration increases the credibility and re- usability of insight
  • 3. Increasing our audience Who are our current users? Who do we want to be our key audience? What business changes are needed? Who are the internal and external stakeholders involved in that change?
  • 4. Creating personas • Captures essential information about our audience • Provides effective and focused input into design • Benefits from feedback and refinement • Individuals shift between persona types!
  • 5. Information Forager ONS user personas Expert Analyst Inquiring Citizen Decreasing level of statistical knowledge
  • 6. Expert Analyst Key goals Behaviours Motivators •Finds a particular Excel spreadsheet to download •Re-uses ONS data for own statistical models and reports •Knows exactly what they want •Finds it quickly on the ONS website •Phones the ONS for help •Accesses ONS website from desktop PC in office •Has a passion for data •Needs reliable, high quality data •Must feel confident in their analysis “Just give me the Excel data I need”
  • 7. Information Forager Key goals Behaviours Motivators • Searches for data for practical, strategic business decisions • Wants summaries, narratives and key charts for deeper understanding • Produces charts and statistics • Proactive - seeking knowledge to affect change • Doesn’t know exactly what to search for • Time pressured - needs to understand size of task • Sector knowledge can help them to be a success • Using ONS data provides advantage • Anticipating changes in workforce and wellbeing affecting their company. “I just need enough data to help me make the right decision”
  • 8. Inquiring Citizen Key goals Behaviours Motivators • Searches for the unbiased ‘truth’ • Wants to find simply worded, high level summaries • Wants visually engaging overview • Reactive to current events • Engaged with social media; follows ONS on Twitter • May browse the site with smart-phone or tablet • Personal/political interest • Financial implications of the economy • Has an enquiring mind • Distrust of big business and government “I need the ONS to help me to find the truth”
  • 9. Personas – strategic implications The existence of Personas has important design implications Clearer focus on key User issues Quality, trust objectivity are essential to all Persona types Any suggestion that the ONS is anything less than 100% independent would alienate each persona type.
  • 10. Simplify (Is not dumbing down) Simpler = ‘gaining the same level of knowledge with reduced cognitive overload’! Research suggests that we should: • Remove extraneous content • Display fewer but more important items • Simplify design • Reduce complexity of language
  • 11. Anytime, anyplace, anywhere As we have seen: Expert Analyst will primarily use desktop/laptop Information Forager and Inquiring Citizen use a tablet or smartphone More responsive design - to adapt to these devices.
  • 12. Beyond User Personas • Understand the way users interact • Identify user requirements through research and testing • Develop solutions based on findings and on business goals and processes • Test these solutions with the users and adapt as necessary.
  • 13. Continuous cycle of User Insight Ui cycle jpeg.jpg
  • 14. User focus • Define all users who visit our website and consume our content • Personas put a 'face' on the user and provide a design target • They are compelling, data driven & well communicated • User testing will provide a cost efficient focus for user testing.
  • 15. User Testing Lab • To standardise how we engage with users • Versatile enough to incorporate local and remote testing, mobile technology • Enabling Accessibility and User Diversity • Methodology to validate our approach and VfM.
  • 16. USER LAB VIRTUAL TOUR
  • 17. ANY QUESTIONS...? 17