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User research - what our users told us

User research at Discovery

We've been carrying out some user research as part of our Local Digital Fund project looking into issues residents face when reporting a change of address to the Council.

One of our first tasks was to engage with residents who had recently moved home so we could talk to them about their experience. Finding out who these residents were proved to be a bit of a challenge.

Our first attempt to recruit users was to use our social media accounts and ask residents who had moved recently to volunteer to take part.  Unfortunately, we had very little take up from residents from our posts on Twitter and Facebook.  We had more success by engaging with our Customer Services teams across the collaborating Councils who asked residents who had called up to report a change of address to take part in the research. 

Our plan was to speak to the volunteers face to face to understand more about their experience.  In the end, we carried out most of our research by telephone as most people didn't have the time to take part in a face to face interview but were happy to speak to us over the phone as this fitted in with their busy lifestyles.

Early findings  from the research show that there are some common themes around the issues that residents face when reporting their change of address to a council, some we expected to see and some that we didn't. 

Reporting the change once

One place, one time, one person

A recurring theme from the people we spoke to was that they were frustrated that they had to contact the council more than once to report the change of address. 

"One place, one time, one person"

"Change of voting information, council tax, blue badge, should have been sorted  out in one process"

Reporting the change online

I prefer to do things online

A number of people we spoke to expected to be able to report the change online and weren't happy that the only option they had was to contact the council by telephone.  Their feedback was that they wanted a more convenient way to report a change of address at a time that suited them.

"I had to do the phone calling within my working hours because that was the only time frame open to me"

"I don't want to be stuck on the phone lines"

"You want to have that freedom to do things when  you want to because not everybody works 9-5"

Finding information

Quote about finding information

A user need that has come out of the research that we didn't expect to see is that residents are not sure what they need to do when they move house.  Some users mentioned that they weren't sure what information they needed to provide and others didn't know if they had told everyone who needed to know.  Some users said they would welcome information about services that are available in the area they have moved to.

" Nobody told me that I needed to contact the council before moving home"

"I didn't know I have to phone every Tom, Dick and Harry  to let people them  know that I am moving home"​

"I like to know things before I move"

What's next?

We've just about finished this round of user research and we've got some great feedback.  Next, we're taking this user feedback and looking at potential solutions to improve the user journey. 

Follow us on Twitter for more updates on our project.


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