An iterative design process reduces the risk of delivering the wrong thing. At no other time has this been more important than during the coronavirus pandemic. During a crisis, existing complexities increase exponentially. We have less time, more pressure and everybody working on delivering the solutions is more stressed, tired and emotionally drained.
Everyone working in the NHS wants to do the right thing to help the public take care of themselves and their loved ones.
At NHS Digital, we quickly adapted the way we do user research to be able to conduct interviews and prototype testing sessions remotely — to feed the users’ needs into the process and help to drive the strategic decisions.
At times, although not as often as we would have wanted, we worked directly with policymakers to create a more user-centred policy with a greater chance of achieving the policy's desired outcome.
In some of our early coronavirus projects, our user research participants were not diverse enough. As a result, we changed the way we do user research and made sure we included users who are seldom heard but disproportionately more severely impacted by the coronavirus, such as black and Asian communities, and people with physical, emotional and cognitive barriers to accessing services.
We listened to the impact that the coronavirus pandemic is having on these communities and fed this back into our strategies of how we design our services going forward - making sure we're not excluding these users.