A Platform For Data Collections & Payments
The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) is upgrading its data collection platform. This is a service for collection and management of statistical data and distribution of financial payments. It allows Central government to send regular or ad-hoc questionnaires to Local authorities in order to collect data to support ministerial projects it wants to spend money on, such as improving housing and reducing homelessness. The platform is then used to distribute and manage payments to the local authorities.
As a Lead Service designer, I was tasked with mapping out the different user journeys and interactions in order to highlight potential improvements so that cost savings can be made. I worked closely with the Product Owner, Delivery Lead and Development Lead to map the complexities and trade-offs that had to be made in order to account for the different user groups and their needs.
The process of setting up data collections was difficult to understand and cumbersome to use for inexperienced or occasional users even after training.
My task was to create a self-serving platform that can be used with as little help as possible from the support team.
To identify gaps, reduce technical jargon and improve the process in which data collections and grants are set up, tested and used.
To highlight information and data that is useful for users to see when and where they needed it for review or to make decisions.
Following the government design standards, I worked with a user researcher to identify internal, external and supporting user groups. I mapped out individual services within the platform and worked with the content designer and BA to optimise them for the best user experience.
Mapping the service
A Service Blueprint was created to map the interactions between different business units: Data owners (departments), form designers, reviewers, approvers, financial managers and the support team. I ran Co-design sessions with stakeholders and users to identify problems and opportunities by utilising the Blueprint as a tool for discussion.
Following GDS Design system
I created wireframe mock-ups in MURAL using the GDS Design System as the basis for screen design. These screens show the process of setting up, reviewing and approving grants. They include different use cases, service rules, and error messages.
I then tested and iterated with users. This resulted in a platform that is clear and simple to use, reducing calls to the support team by roughly 50%.
The transactions dashboard above highlights the progress of transactions between Central government and Local government.