UKGovCamp 2023: Sharing user research across public services
How can user research databases be used across public services to share insights?
Our user needs database template allows our teams to better understand users. It is a simple tracking tool which enables us to record insights from users as user research is conducted during our projects. These insights are recorded in the structure: “As a … I need … in order to…”. For each item, we build a base of sources who have expressed the same need.
Through our user needs databases, we can identify evidence-based user needs, forming the building blocks for digital services. We can also ensure that we record new information as soon as we learn it, rather than spending hours at the end of a project sifting through interview notes and video recordings.
Using the database also encourages the categorisation of insights. This helps us to easily identify the most prevalent and important themes highlighted by users, and makes it easy to keep track of the number of users who have validated (or contradicted) a particular insight.
At The PSC, we believe good user research is critical to the design of great digital services. In our mission to make public services brilliant, we believe that sharing quality user research across the public sector could be incredibly valuable.
Here are some thoughts on our user needs database template from colleagues across The PSC Digital:
- "I think it's really useful on a long project (2 years) as we have user needs from the whole project that I can see from the start and also can help our product manager to prioritise which features to add depending on how many people want them"
- "When you think about proposing different options to a client, it can be really useful as it saves you going back through all the user research"
- "It helps give a bit of structure to the research i.e. it isn't always obvious how to make the most of all of your UR notes/recordings and turn that into a useful output that can inform your recommendations or design, but a user needs database can be a useful tool here"
- "User needs databases help meet GDS standards and you can clearly lay out the needs in an ordered way (As a .... I need.... So that......)"
- "It is a great resource to pull from to justify decisions and be really transparent with clients - so probably worth doing for that alone!"
If you'd like to hear more, drop us an email at email@example.com (Henry Wright, Senior Buisiness Analyst).
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