Expert review improves a complex form by @cjforms

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Case study from 2007, as presented at the PLAIN conference in Amsterdam. Changes to a complex form for Lasting Power of Attorney.

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Expert review improves a complex form by @cjforms

  1. 1. Expert review helps to improve a complex form
  2. 2. Speaker and acknowledgments Caroline Jarrett, Effortmark Ltd  Your speaker today  Contributed an expert review to this project Lucy McKee, Department of Constitutional Affairs  Led the development of these forms  Contributed many months of work to this project
  3. 3. Form case study Outline The legislative background Overview of development The expert review A twist in the tale Coverage in the press
  4. 4. Form case study Outline The legislative background Overview of development The expert review A twist in the tale
  5. 5. The principles of the Mental Capacity Act 2005  A person must be assumed to have capacity unless it is established that the person lacks capacity;  A person is not to be treated as unable to make a decision unless all practicable steps to help the person to do so have been taken without success;  A person is not to be treated as unable to make a decision merely because the person makes an unwise decision;  An act done, or decision made, under the Mental Capacity Act for or on behalf of a person who lacks capacity must be done, or made, in the person’s best interests; and  Before the act is done, or the decision is made, regard must be had to whether the purpose for which it is needed can be as effectively achieved in a way that is less restrictive of the person’s rights and freedom of action.
  6. 6. Remove ‘Enduring Power of Attorney’; now ‘Lasting Power of Attorney’ Previously: ‘Enduring Power of Attorney’  Could be used at any time  Applied only to financial affairs  Concerns about safeguards / coercion New legislation: ‘Lasting Power of Attorney’  Can only be used when registered  Can also apply to health and personal welfare  Has more safeguards
  7. 7. Form case study Outline The legislative background Overview of development The expert review A twist in the tale
  8. 8. The development of the forms and guidance took many months Commitment throughout to Plain Language Many internal discussions An example of a paragraph from a very early version
  9. 9. The development included extensive public consultation Consultation included example forms and guidance  Over 100 professional bodies, charities and other stakeholders invited to take part  Public comment also welcomed  Documents made available in ‘Easy Read’
  10. 10. A section from a consultation document http://www.dca.gov.uk/consult/powerattorney/lpa_consult_full.pdf
  11. 11. The equivalent section from the Easy Read summary http://www.dca.gov.uk/consult/powerattorney/lpaeasyread.pdf
  12. 12. Form case study Outline The legislative background Overview of development The expert review A twist in the tale
  13. 13. My brief was to review the forms and guidance for usability Previously reviewed voter registration forms  Simple, one page forms for a straightforward task  Done remotely, using ‘persona-led heuristic inspection’  Recommendations were uncontroversial and were adopted These forms were much more complex:  Would the same technique work?
  14. 14. Persona-led inspection step 1: Start with pen-portraits of typical users • Much form development is concerned with difficult or unusual cases • For usability, we want to focus on the most common cases • These are usually straighforward with simple circumstances.
  15. 15. Persona-led inspection step 2: Fill in the form Try to be the person in the pen-portrait  Easier if there is at least one ‘outsider’ at the meeting Try to be as honest as possible  Write realistic answers on the form  Go and look up answers – don’t guess If you possibly can, have some actual filled-in forms  Perfectly OK to have earlier versions or previous legislation
  16. 16. Persona-led inspection step 3: Think about best practice Look back over the form as filled in  Minimal guidance before you start  Just-in-time guidance when you need it  Hints about how to get answers  Good balance between the effort needed to fill in the form and the outcome it achieves  Personal data handled sensitively  Easy to get help on the web, by phone and in person
  17. 17. Now try it for yourself Write a very brief pen-portrait of someone who might fill in a form for Lasting Power of Attorney
  18. 18. A first version for our expert review • Ging-Fei (63) makes a personal welfare LPA appointing his son and daughter as his joint attorneys. • He also makes a property and affairs LPA, appointing his son and his solicitor to act jointly and severally. He has been considering his future since his wife died a year ago. • He chooses his son and daughter to be his personal welfare attorneys because he has told them about his wishes for his health and social care. He chooses his son and his solicitor to be his property and affairs attorneys because the solicitor has undertaken legal work with him before and he trusts him to work closely with his son, who is an accountant, to make decisions about his financial affairs.
  19. 19. Think about how users come to fill in the form and how they feel about it How does Ging-Fei find out about LPA?  Is he familiar with the term 'personal welfare LPA'? When and how does Ging-Fei get the form?  Where does he tackle it? e.g., at his home, at his lawyer's office, together with his son and daughter?  Does he expect to fill it in all at once or over time?  How long does he think it will take? Is he comfortable with official forms and documents?  Does he feel nervous about this form?
  20. 20. Now try it for yourself • Think about being Ging-Fei. • Today you want to look at the LPA for personal welfare.
  21. 21. Our inspection found good, clear sentences – not always when needed LPA requires many different ‘actors’  The donor  The attorney(s)  Replacement attorney(s)  Persons to notify  Certificate providers  Witnesses Explanations were there, but scattered
  22. 22. Before review After review
  23. 23. Before review After review
  24. 24. Form case study Outline The legislative background Overview of development The expert review A twist in the tale
  25. 25. The revised version was accepted – with one notable extra change Before final change After final change
  26. 26. Question time Caroline Jarrett carolinej@effortmark.co.uk +44 1525 370379 Twitter: @cjforms Slideshare: cjforms

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