Like many organisations, Principality are on a transformation journey to provide more digital and human-centred services. As part of this, we’ve been supporting their digital teams in running discovery user research projects, and regular usability testing.
We first met with the scrum teams responsible for the areas of work to uncover the decisions they needed to make, and what risks our research could help minimise. For one project, this was enough to give us a clear brief to plan the research around. However, for the two other projects we explored the team's Lean Canvas or used our own methods to prioritise research questions.
With clear research briefs we could plan the most appropriate research approach. We used a mix of lab-based interviews, home visits and paper prototype testing across the projects. Lab-based interviews allowed the teams at Principality to observe the research in PDR and hear people tell their stories first-hand, an invaluable way of helping teams appreciate the importance of user centred design.
We involved the teams as much as possible in the research analysis, helping team members who couldn’t observe the research get immersed in the findings and take ownership, even when working remotely by using digital whiteboard tools. We also did our own analysis and communicated the findings back to the teams through reports, slides of key findings and visualisations of the ways achieve their goals. The combination of applying our expertise and involving the team as we go has provided Principality with the impactful insights they needed, giving them clarity to reduce risk in their decision-making process and determine the future direction of their digital projects.
Alongside the discovery research projects, we plan and moderate usability testing sessions each sprint. Working with the in-house designers, we have taken prototypes of their services and conducted research sessions that find whether participants can complete core tasks on the new services.
We usually run the usability sessions at our lab in Cardiff so the team at Principality have had more opportunities to come and watch their work being used by real people. With lockdown due to Covid-19 forcing everyone to work from home, we quickly moved to remote usability studies via video calls, whilst still enabling the teams to observe. Working closely with the team at Principality, we turn the findings from the testing into clear and actionable reports with both significant changes and incremental refinements made based on the results.