We recently introduced the new team working on delivering Casebook, a new case management product for the Citizens Advice service. We explained how we would be doing this via a discovery phase and the creation of a minimum viable product that focuses on core user needs.
Annual Conference 2015
We kicked off discovery at the Citizens Advice 2015 Conference and AGM.
Using a combination of user story cards, posters and cupcakes, delegates were encouraged to speak honestly about their experiences and needs for both digital content and case management. The case management themes included:
- recording and referencing advice content must be easy
- search must be powerful, fast and effective
- formatting and saving notes must be swift, and reliably saved. It must be easy to switch between recent and old cases
- the product must be fast and robust
- only essential fields and tabs must be visible
- printing and scanning must be quick and painless
- managing passwords must be straightforward
- error messages should be meaningful
- AIC completion rates should be higher to ensure accurate reports for funders
Validation and Iteration
This summary of the 2015 conference user story cards is by no means exhaustive. We’ve combined it with prior research and analysis and have started validating it with advisers across the country and colleagues in Citizens Advice.
To kick off this validation, we’ve visited a number of local Citizens Advice to get an understanding of real needs and behaviours in the field.
There is nothing more useful for our team than hearing first hand accounts of the issues clients face and the ideas that advisers have for a new case management product. These insights provide powerful direction on what functionality is required to support advisers in their day-to-day work and help validate the real value of requirements.
Our visits so far have shown us how Petra error messages such as “Sorry for the inconvenience caused!!!!” compound a frustrating wait for an ineffective search to complete, or how scanning and uploading client documents involves having over 6 browser tabs open and in excess of 12 clicks to complete the task.
These are examples of critical pain-points for users, and visits to local Citizens Advice help identify where we can strip out complexity. We also get to see any workarounds and inventive ideas users have introduced to solve problems when using Petra. One great example is the ‘Quick Enquiry Tool’.
As we progress, all members of the team, whatever their discipline – be it UX, developer, designer, product or delivery – will be regularly visiting, observing and listening to advisers in their local workplace to keep our minds focused on getting a Casebook MVP up and running.