Usability test panel rolled out by GOV.UK

The much-vaunted GOV.UK user research service has passed beta assessment and is now public on GOV.UK.

People who visit GOV.UK can sign up to join the panel by answering a few questions about themselves. After they’ve joined, user researchers can contact panellists to ask further questions and to invite them to take part in user research.

Writing in a blog post, Katie Taylor from the Government Digital Service, Cabinet Office said: “The panel will never replace all of our existing recruitment as we know that people who don’t use a computer, for example, will never join. So we will also continue to use specialist recruiters and to do pop-up research.”

Taykor continued: “We know that we’re not the only researchers in government who want to improve how we recruit research participants. So, when we procured and contracted for the user research panel, we did it a way that would support sharing it across government.

“Essentially, this meant finding both suppliers and a solution flexible enough to allow it to be shared, and making sure that the procurement contract with the supplier included something formal about this intention.”

The post added that a pilot with two government departments will soon be carried out to learn what works and what doesn’t and whether a cross-government platform is a viable long-term plan.

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