Differences between Prepare and Complete

Prepare and Complete are 2 sides of the same coin. They help DfE employees manage school conversion and academy transfer projects.

Prepare helps users to create documents for the advisory board meeting and record the decision that follows it.

Complete enables users manage the work they do to make the conversion or transfer happen.

Exporting data

We've written about how we designed data exports for our data consumer users in Complete.

Many of those teams of data consumers also need information from Prepare.

But, the way these users export data from Prepare is slightly different.

Providing data to Prepare's data consumers

In Prepare, users see a list of all projects in the application. They can search through and filter this list in several ways to find the project or projects they need.

Users can then export a spreadsheet of the data that Prepare holds on the projects in that filtered list.

A filterable and searchable list of projects, listed by most recently added

Users can then manipulate the Excel spreadsheet as they need to.

A big spreadsheet of all the things

This approach differs to the approach we took in Complete.

In Complete, we tried to provide data in exports in a more tailored way.

We wanted to give data consumers only the data they said they needed. We hoped that would mean they were not overwhelmed by the amount of data in the exports.

We expected this would help them spend less time filtering and more time analysing data.

As we've learnt more about their needs, we've found that it's more helpful to give them a bigger data set that they can manipulate.

As we iterate, it's likely exports in Complete will align with the way we designed exports in Prepare.

Creating consistency to help users

The differences between Prepare and Complete are largely due to separate teams working on these products. Each made different design decisions based on the user research each did.

In October 2023 the teams merged. Since then there has been one team working across both products.

Over time we will find ways we can make designs more consistent.

Making the products consistent, where appropriate, should help people learn to use them.