Case Study - And end-to-end digital service for Lambeth Council's local residents
As part of the wider vision of the central and local government in moving online as part of efficiency reforms, our team was asked to use interaction design in order to encourage people who prefer face-to-face interaction to use Lambeth council's online services.
Project goal: Encouraging local residents to use Lambeth Council's online services
This project was part of "Design Experience 2" module of the MSc in Human-Computer Interaction and Ergonomics at UCL Duration: 2 weeks
Team Size: 5 members
Date: Spring Semester, 2016
We followed a User-Centered Design (UCD) methodology throughout the project making sure to repeat certain steps as needed.
We focused on three basic questions that defined the scope of our project:
Who Who visits the centres? Do they represent a specific group or multiple groups? Are there visitors who visit more often than others? What is the digital literacy level of the visitors?
Why Why are they visiting? What prohibits them from completing their goals online? Are there specific processes that need a face-to-face interaction more than others?
How How can we shift (some) of them online? What are the pain points for a complete online transaction right now, and what could we do better?
"I have to come again in a month because I'm still missing documents" -Joanne, visiting for parking permit
"I shouldn't have to be here waiting on a sunny day!"
-Steve, visiting for parking permit
After a careful analysis of the data we collected, we created personas representing several types of centre visitors which would help us define our target user groups and their needs.
We decided to focus our efforts in specific parts of the proposed platforms in order to present the key points of our solution. We ended up with two areas:
The general myLambeth account webpage, and a specific process for a parking permit application.
During the ideation phase we experimented with a variety of ideas for what could be included in our proposed service.
After a heuristic evaluation of the already existing system, and by creating a user journey map, we found several important obstacles that come up when someone is trying to apply for a parking permit.
It was clear that even the people who would prefer not visiting the centres were not able to do it at the present moment because of a lack of a truly end-to-end digital service.
We then decided to focus our efforts in two specific parts of the proposed platforms in order to present the key point of our solution.
Personalised all-in-one digital service manager Many of the center visitors were frustrated by the fact that they should use multiple accounts and services in order to complete different tasks involving the council. It was particularly frustrating for people who had to upload the same documents multiple times for different situations.
Parking as a popular digital end-to-end service A big proportion of the centre visitors were there to apply for parking permits, or to submit documents regarding their applications, which could not be completed online at the time.
As a first approach we created lo-fi prototypes which we tested with a variety of visitors at the centres, in order to collect feedback for possible improvements, and first impressions.
All users were mostly positive about the prototypes, especially the "myLambeth" account.
Some issues that came up involved:
- Progress indication
- The need for more instructions and visual clues
- Review and confirmation cues
We used this feedback from the users to develop new iterations, and the final prototype can be seen in demonstration below:
Channel shifting is a gradual process, that need to involve various user groups at once, but in order to be succesful it is important to consider a variety of aspects regarding the potential users' needs, rather than what is fast and feasible in terms of development.
In service design for governmental services it is particularly important to include clear instructions, tutorials, and easy tasks because the user group is widely diverse in regards to digital skills and literacy.
Although the visitor centre's staff is not the target user group of this project, their perceptions and comments were very important in understanding both the users and their needs, and especially specific parts in the processes that people could potentially get stuck or need additional help.