This working group aimed to identify the different entry points working group and contact points into a local authority and assess it against user feedback. The purpose of this was to help inform a citizen centred omnichannel offering for users.
The working group ran for three months and comprised officers of different levels from various local authorities. This offered the project, to its benefit, a range of experience and perspectives. Each working group participant committed to giving 2 hours of their time a month, 1 hour with the rest of the group and another hour preparing for the next week.
The working group had representatives from Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council, Bridgend County Borough Council, Caerphilly County Borough Council, Carmarthenshire County Council, Flintshire County Council, Isle of Anglesey County Council, Monmouthshire County Council, Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council, Newport City Council, Powys County Council, Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council, The Vale of Glamorgan County Borough Council, Welsh Local Government Association.
What we did
We started the Working Group by introducing ourselves, our skills, and our goals for the next 12 weeks. We then talked about the problem we were trying to solve and tried to frame it. In the end, the objective we agreed on was:
How many ways can I contact my local authority, and which is best for me?
We then moved on to writing User Stories to help identify the different user groups we need to design for and to view local authority services from their perspective. The exercise enabled us to better empathise with citizens, a fundamental principle of human centred design.
After this, we decided to do research to better understand how citizens want to contact their local authority. We started with secondary research. We then did ‘lightening demos’ to feedback what we found out to the rest of the group. Following the secondary research, we finalised our Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and Definition of Done (DoD). This helped us visualise what we were aiming to achieve as a group over the 12 weeks.
Next, we looked at user research in more detail. We analysed different research methods and established which approaches would solve which objectives. We decided that semi-structured interviews were the most suitable to answer our project’s objective. To ensure we could conduct these interviews with end users of our services, we recruited over 80 participants with 29 citizens being randomly selected for the research. The citizens were service users of Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council, Bridgend County Borough Council, Caerphilly County Borough Council, Carmarthenshire County Council, Flintshire County Council, Monmouthshire County Council, Pembrokeshire County Council, Powys County Council, Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council, The Vale of Glamorgan County Borough Council.
After the research, we analysed the results. The method we used was affinity diagramming which worked well to identify and uncover the key themes from the research. These themes and other information about the research can be found in this report.
After analysing the research, we focussed on recommendations for the next stage of the working group.
- Entry points working group need to be considered alongside the end-to-end service rather than isolated as a single project. This is because participants in the research were more concerned with what happened once they had communicated with their local authority than the method of communication. Many participants were trying to find the entry point that would offer the most efficient service rather than selecting an entry point based on anything else.
- Join with closely related working groups like Service Design and Shared Principles and Performance Indicators.
- Investigate how to provide citizens with a single voice and tone across channels. Potential to link in with the DDaT working group regarding the recruitment of Content Designers.
- Focus on how to better communicate with citizens. This was the main theme in the research.
A special thanks to working group contributors:
Alex McConnachie, Alexandra Williams, Andrew Welsh, Anna Lewis, David Jenkins, Hannah Sinclair, James Vale, Jamie Cullen, Jenny Arnold, Joanne Welsh, Jonathan Lewis, Kim Morris, Lee McSparron, Lisa McQuaide, Nia Roberts, Owen Davies, Philip O’Brien, Rebecca Jones, Rebecca Morales, Samantha Turnbull, Tim Opie, Tony Curliss