Redesign of employee software in a UK government department
About the project
A specific group of colleagues in a government department have the need to create different types of appeal bundles containing citizen documents. They reached our team with the need to create an automated tool that could download important documents from DRS (Debt & Revenue Services), using only citizen National Insurance Numbers, add new files from local folders, also, allow users to edit the documents, and export all of them together as a bundle. This way all citizen information would be compiled in one single place, ready to be sent over. This automated solution would help to reduce the time spent on creating appeal bundles by the agents and give them time back to work on their other duties.
The department had a current automation solution that has been used by approximately 1500 users that created 50,586 bundles in the past 12 months. This product has a number of issues that have dependencies on the wider network/infrastructure:
- Settings aren’t retained in the user profile, users need to repeat the settings every time they logged in
- Adobe Reader integration is slow and time-consuming
- Updates to Adobe Reader and OneDrive require the user to follow a workaround. Also, the impact of updates could (and has) stopped users from completing bundles
- The existing issue with OneDrive syncing which requires a restart of bundle creation
- Issues with the interaction between the local file system (Downloads folder) and Edge (running in IE compatibility mode)
Gathering user feedback and defining requirements
User feedback on the existing bundle builder was gathered from workshops held with higher volume business areas. The feedback was translated into a set of requirements which were then analysed by the technical team and defined what was getting into Scope. Due to timeline limitations, a few requests couldn't be implemented however they were added to the team’s backlog to be raised in the future.
After collating user feedback, and defining the requirements and functionalities I was able to start planning the new information architecture and new processes for the user journey into the digital solution. To make it as simple and user-friendly as possible, the new web application would mainly have 4 pages where the ‘Document edits’ is the one with the most interactions:
- Gathering documents
- Document edits
- Final bundle
At the same time, the development team also started working on the new technical architecture.
Wireframes and prototype
As soon as we had the information architecture and the new user journey mapped my next challenge was to design the low-fi wireframes. One requirement of the department was for me to use the GOV.UK design system not only to save us time during the design and development stages but also to make sure we are consistent with the government style.
The low-fidelity wireframes were made with the GOV.UK design system in mind but also highlighting the new components that would have the need to be created that were not available in the library.
After approving the structure of the screen, content, and functionalities with stakeholders I had the approval to start designing the high-fidelity screens. The new wireframes were fully based on the GOV.UK design system, even the new components were created using the same style and interactions to keep consistent.
The interactive prototype had usability testing on 1-to-1 meetings with 10 users from 5 different business areas. Due to project timeline limitations, we couldn’t interview a bigger number of users. Feedbacks were extremely positive and all users were excited about the final product.
The builder will be released by the end of 2022 where new usability tests will be run together with enhancements and a new scaling plan.
Because of privacy contract I am not able to display the full resolution screens.