User research has helped us find areas where the ‘add a service’ journey in 'Manage family support services' could improve. We’ve made lots of changes to both the voluntary and community sector (VCS) organisation journey and the local authority journey.

Saying what we mean by ‘service’

Our user research found users did not think ‘service’ was no the right word to use to describe thing like groups, activities, programmes and guidance. We assessed other words we could use, and we found the same problem. We decided to stick with the word service, but we’ve now added explanatory text to the homepage, where a user starts the ‘add a service’ journey:

Add a service

Add a service run by your organisation to the directory.

Services can include groups, activities, programmes and advice.

We considered changing the ‘What is the service name?’ screen to include the list of things that services include as hint text, but we’ve decided to see if the changes to the homepage test well before making other changes.

Updating the way users choose languages

Previously, users chose from a small selection of languages using a dropdown. User research identified several missing languages that would make our service more inclusive if they were included.

We’ve updated the language selection to a much bigger list of languages using the international standard and accessible autocomplete component.

Future considerations

There is a potential need for service managers to be able to show that they can arrange a translator. This is because the service is only offered in one language as standard, but they do not exclude people because of language barriers. We’ll continue to monitor this in user research.

Creating a variable option for costs

We’ve created a separate design history post for the changes to costs.

Changing how users add information about the times of a service

We’ve created a separate design history post for how user add information about when a service takes place.

Making the difference between using the service and contacting the service clearer

User research showed us that some service managers were confused between ‘How can families use the service?’ and ‘How can families contact the service?’. Previously, these were far apart in the journey. To prevent confusion, we moved these questions next to each other. We also changed the contact question to ‘How can families contact the service to book or ask questions?’.

From our user research with families, we discovered that when a service linked to a generic website for the organisation, rather than a specific webpage about the service, it led to frustration and decreased the likelihood of families using that service. To improve the conversion rate of link clicks to service use, we’ve added guidance to the contact details page.

When a service manager selects ‘website’ as a contact option, they are presented with hint text that says ‘Enter a specific webpage address where people can find out more about this service’ as well as a text box. Because we’re asking people to use a longer link, we’ve increased the text box size. It’s now full width, but has no character limit.

We checked how these addresses are presented. In ‘Find support for your family’ the website link is the name of the service. However, the link in ‘Connect families to support’ is the full link the service manager provided. We will change this to match Find.

Improving the prompts for ‘more details’

In the previous version of the prototype, the more details box only had prompts suggesting users include information about:

  • if the service only opens during certain time periods
  • sizes of groups or classes
  • other addresses where families can use the service

User research with professionals adding services to the directory and with families using the directory showed us there was other information we could suggest putting in this box.

We added prompts for:

  • whether they need to book or can drop in
  • if car parking is available
  • whether the building is wheelchair accessible

Future considerations

When we add structured information about locations to the directory, we will be able to take information about car parking and building accessibility out of this list. It will be linked to locations instead.

Making the confirmation page more useful

During user research, we found that people would look up the service in the live directory as soon as they added it. We decided to make this easier by adding a link to the confirmation page, which opens in a new tab.

For VCS users, this is ‘View the listing on Connect families to support’.

For local authority users, it’s ‘View the listing on Find support for your family’.

Future considerations

People adding services to the directory told us that they would most likely need to add several very similar services. We plan to make this easier by adding a button to ‘copy these details to another service’.

Changing the flow of the journey

We changed the order of the screens to make parts of the journey sit together where they were very closely related. You can see the changes from version 2 of our prototype in version 3 (password: proto).