RedEye Optimisation helps win “Design of the year”

Houses of Parliament

The Challenge

Following a review of Government online services by Martha Lane Fox, the Government Digital Service set about developing as the single online home for all Government’s public facing content and services. Bringing together the information and transactions of 24 Ministerial departments.

The Solution

RedEye was selected to deliver user testing to help ensure the site  achieved a high level of usability during a critical period when content from the major Government Departments was being converged.

RedEye’s innovative mix of lab-based user testing with eyetracking, remote testing and home testing for disabled users, together with their extensive experience in working with Government websites and stakeholders helped them to secure the contract.

RedEye’s UX team worked with the Government Digital Service to design a series of tests to investigate and optimise the user experience. User test sessions were conducted at RedEye’s lab in central London, and using a mobile lab set up in Bristol and Leeds. Remote testing sessions helped to spread the geographic reach wider and include some more niche user types. Three rounds of testing explored the new Inside Government section of the site with professional users whose jobs require them to regularly seek information from several Government sources. One round concentrated on general public users with a particular focus on tasks which required more extensive journeys.

Whilst core GDS team members observed on-site at RedEye’s usability  lab, secure live web streaming was used to enable GDS team members  and stakeholders from around the country to view the user sessions as they happened to create greater engagement with the process.

After each round of testing RedEye produced a detailed report of prioritised issues and recommendations, and held a workshop session to discuss these with GDS and the relevant Government departments.

David Cameron

The Results

Following each round of testing, changes were made to the website in response to the recommendations made. The structure of the guides  which form the core content of the site was changed after analysis of the general public testing showed that users were not able to navigate effectively.

A critical change made as a result of the testing was a re-design of the navigation menu within Inside Government. Analysis showed that previously difficult to and content consultations and statistics (both of vital importance to professional users) had an uplift in page views of 290% and almost 500% respectively. The website was awarded the prestigious Design of the Year award in April 2013.

I am delighted that the GOV.UK website has won the Design of The Year award in 2013. For the first time, people can find out what’s happening inside government, all in one place, and in a clear and consistent format. It is just another example of Britain’s world class design talent standing out on the global stage.

Rt Hon David Cameron