In the Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) form designs we included the local authority professional’s email address and telephone number. However, we did not collect the local authority professional’s phone number in the account registration process or as part of the form. We identified that the right place to collect this information was as part of the request form.

We did not have any information about whether the local authority professional would like to be contacted by telephone and it will be useful to understand their preferences.

Our design questions were:

  1. How can we collect local authority professionals’ contact preferences?
  2. How can we collect local authority professionals’ phone numbers?
  3. Where will this fit in to the user journey?

Collecting local authority professionals’ contact preferences

Our first step was to look at other government services including ‘Register to vote’ to see how they collect contact preferences. They used checkboxes where the user can select ‘contact me by phone’ and ‘contact be by email’ or they can continue without selecting any contact option.

This was slightly different from our problem because we already had the local authority professionals’ email which is registered on their account with us, so they automatically receive some emails. However, we needed to know their preferences and if they would like to be contacted by phone.

Collecting local authority professionals’ phone numbers

In the ‘Connect families to support’ prototype request form for LA professionals, there’s a question as the header ‘How can the service contact you for more details about this request?’ (password: proto).

We used hint text to tell users they must select one option to continue. There is a radios component with two options ‘Email only’ and ‘Telephone and email’. If the user selects 'Email only' there is a conditional reveal with hint text ‘The service can contact me through my account email’. The user does not need to provide any more detail because we already collect the users email in the account registration process.

If the user selects ‘Telephone and email’ there is a conditional reveal with the hint text ‘The service can contact me by telephone and account email’. We do not collect the users telephone number as part of the registration process, so we included a telephone numbers pattern for the user to provide their prefer contact number.

Adding the screen to the user journey

After a discussion, we narrowed this down to 2 options of where this page could go in the journey. Option 1 was to put it at the start of the journey and option 2 was at the end of the journey, after the page in the prototype that asks the question ‘How can the service engage with this family?' (password: proto).

We decided option 2 was more suitable because it’s a more logical order. First the local authority professional provides the family’s information and then they say how they would like to be contacted about the request.