User Testing and Research with NALC

The National Association of Local Councils (NALC) is the national membership body for the 10,000 local (parish and town) councils in England.

NALC were already aware of problems with their current website that were holding back the experience of their members. They were looking for an agency to design and deliver user testing, to ensure that it was both rigorous and engaging enough to provide them with the insights they needed to inform the development of a new website with a more user-centred approach.

The project.

We decided to approach the project in a few phases, Research & Discovery, User Testing & Interviews and Documentation & Playback.

As the work started during COVID conditions, it would mean that the project would be run fully remote, with user testing and stakeholder interviews being carried out online.

We used digital tools such as Hotjar and Google Analytics to obtain insight in the initial stages. This helped us identify the key user journeys on Online surveys and stakeholder interviews ran smoothly with good uptake from NALC members.

We devised a series of tests, in collaboration with NALC, based on the key user journeys. These were recorded with participants permission.

Armed with the screen recordings and heatmaps from Hotjar, the online surveys, stakeholder interviews and user testing insight - we started to document the output ready to playback to NALC in the final phase.

The results.

We had over 400 members provide feedback using the online survey with 25% agreeing to help with user testing.

From reviewing analytics and Hotjar data, we were able to clearly identify the key user journeys and take these into the user testing tasks. By devising a small number of different user testing tasks, it was clear where users were struggling with the experience the most. These were identified as high impact issues that would go into a digital roadmap as a priority.

We were able to advise on a digital strategy for NALC, touched on some technical recommendations and advised on ways of working for the future. All documentation and insight were documented for NALC to keep and refer to.

A reporting dashboard connected to Google Analytics was created for NALC to keep, pulling key analytics to share with internal stakeholders regularly to help make digital decisions using data.