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The problem

User research highlighted a number of issues with the way that services could be added to ‘Find support for your family’ (Find) and ‘Connect families to support’ (Connect).

The main one of these was that when using Manage, local authority (LA) and voluntary and community sector (VCS) organisations only had the option to add one address when adding a new service. If they wanted to list the same service at a different address they would have to enter it as a new service. This was a problem because many organisations run the same service from multiple locations. This would lead to a lot of unnecessary work, potentially resulting in duplicate listings, and making it harder for end users to search for services.

Along with a need to change the relationship between services and locations it was also identified that we could improve the way we collected some of the other information about services. This would allow us to improve the way users could search and filter services in their area and more easily find the support they needed.

The updated add a service journey

We explored the idea of using a GOV.UK task list for the form, however we thought for minimal viable product (MVP) it is best to use a linear form for consistency with the rest of the service. This may be something we explore further down the line when we can do some formal usability testing.

The main changes we made to the journey were:

  • adding 2 new pages to the start of the journey
  • finding a solution for adding locations to a service

New services page

Within Manage, we designed a new services page that allows users to view a list of all the existing services that have been added within their LA area. This page also includes a filter to help admin users with searching.

If they have searched the list and can’t find a particular service, they can then add it using the link at the top of the page which takes them into a form. We decided to put this at the top of the list of services as it will make users look at their existing services before adding another one. We hope this will help reduce the chance of duplicate services being added. being added.

Adding a service description

We identified an issue that service names do not always give a clear indication of what the service does. In the previous versions of the add a service journey there was a more details page at the end of the journey where the users could describe what the service does. This could also be used as a catch all section for things like if booking is required. This information was then displayed towards the bottom of a service’s listing. This meant it was sometimes difficult for users to easily identify whether a service was right for them.

To make things clearer we added a new page at the start to allow users to give a description of the service. This description will then be displayed towards the top of the service listing, separately from any additional details.

Updating the way users add locations to a service

Prior to updating the add a service journey we updated the journey for adding locations separately. As part of this we then wanted to change the way users could add locations to services. This would include the ability to add multiple locations, either new or existing.

Choosing to add locations

We initially looked at having a link on the confirmation page to add locations after the service had been created. As a team we decided this would be confusing as the confirmation page indicates the end of a journey. Therefore, we decided to bring this all in to the one journey.

If the user selects the ‘In person’ checkbox on the how can people use the service page, they are next directed to the page ‘Do you want to add any locations for this service?’.

This page allows users the option to skip adding a location if there isn’t a fixed location for the service or they don’t currently know the details of the location. If they select no and therefore skip this step in the journey they can go back and add locations at a later stage.

If they select yes, they move on to the search and select location page. On this page, users can search locations in their local authority that have already been added to the directory (this page uses the accessible autocomplete component which is used in other areas of the service). We expect most users to find them using this search option. However, if they can’t find the location through searching, they can choose to add it as a new location. They can do this by selecting the link at the bottom of the page which takes them through the add a location journey.

Availability at location

If users have chosen to add any locations, they then move on to the location availability page. This page allows users to select which days the service is available at a location using the GOV.UK checkbox component.

We initially simplified earlier designs of how we collect availability by just asking if the service is available on weekdays and weekends, and what time the service is available. Feedback on this from LA account managers was that it was essential to include the specific days it was available. As a result, we redesigned the page to allow users to select the specific days.

We also added the more details at this location page to give users the opportunity to then add additional details such as times and if the service is available during school holidays. Based on the insight we had, we decided this was the right amount and way to collect availability information for MVP. However, we intend to return to and iterate the design of these pages once we have carried out more testing.

Checking the locations being added to the service

The last page of this new journey is the location summary card page. This displays the locations that have been added to the service. This page uses summary cards which are a variation of the GOV.UK summary lists component.

There is a secondary button at the bottom of the page (next to ‘Continue’) that allows users to ‘Add another location’. Selecting this will then take the user back to the location search page. There is also the option on the summary page to remove each location which takes the user to a confirmation page to remove the location.