Show and tell notes: 27 March

It’s been a little while since our last show and tell, but don’t worry, there’s been plenty going on.

Mapping common service patterns

First on the agenda was an update from Nic and Alessandra, introducing their work around mapping common service patterns.

Nick explained how this work maps out the building blocks shared by our online transactional services. Sounds technical, but it’s actually really simple.

If booking an appointment to register a birth has the same steps as booking an appointment at the Records Office, why not use a consistent system for both? If you’re looking for a library, you could use the same functionality to look for a country park.

Alessandra talked a bit about how the mapping would allow us to think of our services from a user’s point of view. Often these are pretty momentous life events, registering births, deaths or getting help for an elderly relative.

By providing consistency in the way we do things, we lessen the cognitive load on users, and make sure our services are accessible for all. If there are things that crossover or coincide with these things, we should be helping people to do them.

If that's whetted your appetite, Nic and Alessandra recently blogged on service design patterns and why they matter.

User research

Magda and Ben have been testing our beta website with users, and the response has been ‘super-positive’. The design of the site was described as ‘clear’ and ‘open’, which is fantastic.

The users seem to grasp why the pages are laid out as they are and find the content easy to understand.

There was also considerable excitement about the care costs calculator.

We’ve still got some work to do with spacing and presentation, but we’ll make some tweaks ready for the next round of testing.

Magda was keen to stress, if anyone’s interested in seeing user research in action, they could come along to see some of the testing. I can vouch that seeing your content in the hands of users is both excruciating and enlightening in equal measure. Get in touch with

Round up

Helen gave us a high-speed team update. There will be seven new starters joining the team in the next few weeks, which is really exciting. This will go some way to building up a permanent team.

Also, we’ll be saying ‘see ya later’ to C block and ‘ey up’ to E1, so be sure to come and visit us in our new neighbourhood towards the end of next month!

Lastly, with show and tells springing up all over, we're moving to monthly updates, so we'll see you all in April.

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