How can we include all kinds of users in our research, including those who may be harder to reach or reluctant to take part?
That was the focus of our cross-government user research meetup in February 2016. We gathered in Leeds for an afternoon to learn from each other and share ideas.
I was blown away by the excellent work being done around government, and by the thoughtfulness of the presentations. They showed how far the community has come getting inclusive user research embedded in government departments and agencies.
Create partnerships with charities and advocacy groups
Claudio Pires Franco showed us how the Personal Independent Payment team at DWP worked with third sector groups to reach their users, and adapted their research process to include people who need support to complete an application.
Use experience maps to gather complex stories
Rochelle Gold and Ian Franklin from HSCIC told us about their home visits to people with long term health conditions, and how they worked with participants to create experience maps.
Get basic training in accessibility
Emily Ball and James Buller from the Home Office explained the ways that they're including people with access needs in their research, including basic training in accessibility for service managers and more detailed training for user researchers.
Ask charities to consider recruiting for you
Jennifer Klinec told us about working with third sector organisations, including offering incentives to charities to compensate them for their time, and sending back photos of teams working with research findings.
Give clear briefs to market research recruiters
Richard Palfrey from the GDS Assisted Digital team, told us about research to test drop in support services at high street photo shops, and the recruitment problems they had to overcome.
Join us at future meetings
If you'd like to come to a future meetup, the next two are:
- Research findings over the long term on Tuesday 12 April, hosted by DVLA in Swansea.
- Good Discovery on Wednesday 8 June, hosted by NAO in London.
If you have work you'd like to share at one of the meetups, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
These meetups are for user researchers working in government, so you'll need a gov.uk or similar email address to book a ticket.
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All images by the author.