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GOV.UK Test & Trace

Leading user research for the GOV.UK Test & Trace NHS website hub

Single front door strategy for finding the right test

At Test & Trace I worked alongside another user researcher from Nomensa. We were put into a team with the focus of building a single front door for users to find the right Covid test for them. This was before lateral flow tests had been released for people to order for free.

Research had been done before we arrived and it identified that users had a lot of trust in the NHS. So the team wanted to learn how users would experience a newly designed Covid Test & Trace Hub on the NHS.UK website and moving content from the GOV.UK pages.

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User research to understand how participants find the right test

Our first priority was to understand how users were finding the right test for them in the first place. Would they be able to access the NHS website anyway?

We created a test plan to understand how users found covid tests at that time and arranged user testing/user research sessions with 6 participants from a mix of backgrounds, ethnicities, genders, ages etc - to represent the general public.

The key objectives of the research were to:

  • Understand how participants evaluate and understand asymptomatic testing and the idea of the ‘universal offer’ which was to roll out Lateral Flow tests to the general public

  • Evaluate how participants find the right test for them currently

  • Test the MVP experience of the new ‘Single Front Door’ NHS website.

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Results and workshop

We identified a number of key problem areas through the journey by doing the user testing and research.

The key problems were:

  • Participants had a range of different circumstances and would go on many different routes to finding the right test. E.g google searching their doctors surgery, council website, international travel website if they were needing to travel, employee/work website for testing for work

  • The most common entry point was the GOV.UK ‘Find a PCR test’ website, as Lateral Flow testing was not available for free at this point

  • Trust was the most important factor when participants were trying to find the test. They wanted to know it was legitimate, which is why they went to their doctors surgery or council website

  • Participants trusted the NHS implicitly so moving the information onto the single front door website was a good idea but the google search rankings needed strong consideration

We played all of this back to the team and ran a workshop to help them understand what users were ‘Thinking, Feeling & Doing’ whilst going through the journey.

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Single Front Door research strategy

The team at Test & Trace was very much in flux and new people were coming into it. Because of this there was quite a bit of confusion at the time about what the next focus should be for the design & research.

So I put together this research strategy to define what we would focus on from the research perspective. This involved highlighting the key pain points we had already identified, and what part of the journey we would be focusing on within our team.

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Research sprint 1

Once we had defined a strategy for the research moving forward we conducted our first round of user testing for sprint 1 - as we agreed that we would move to working in sprints.

I stayed for one more sprint at Test & Trace and conducted the research with the other researcher I was working with.

The objectives for the research were similar to the previous round of testing we conducted, but we wanted to answer these key questions:

  1. What are users natural journeys when finding the right tests?

  2. How does the NHS website fit within these natural journeys?

  3. Is the NHS website fulfilling established user needs?

  4. Has the latest NHS content/ IA changes improved findability,

  5. usability, and understanding?

  6. What are the key pain-points and areas of opportunity to support users finding/obtaining the right test, and knowing how to act on results?

We worked with someone from Data & Analytics to supply us with data on the behaviour of users at these points in the journey, which supplemented the results.

I then presented this back to the Test & Trace Department of Health & Social Care department.

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