Labour Party – Digital Revolution

The Brief

  • As a user researcher I was part of a big push to help embed principles of user-centred design and user-centred services within the Labour Party.
  • One focus for Labour has been to better engage the recent membership expansion. ‘MyLabour’ was thus launched as desktop and mobile web app, the first step towards rebuilding the Labour Party around the needs of their members.
  • I planned, implemented and communicated research insights; including regular interviews/lab based user testing for MyLabour.

Process

User Research Process

Plan → Conduct Research → Design → Development → Test → Learn → Plan (next round of research based on backlog)

Agile Process

Illustration of a typical agile development delivery sprint where research fits in

Research Planning

Defining:

  • Research objectives
  • Questions
  • Scripts
  • User testing recruitment criteria

Trello board of the Labour Digital Design team’s projects in progress

Things we tested and what we were testing for?

We wanted to measure performance, get feedback and improve upon

  • Prototypes – design, content feed (how do people react? Is it accessible?)
  • Live services – including MyLabour (web app), Labour Login (single-sign-on for multiple applications and services), Policy Forum (an online portal for members to contribute to policy making)
  • Identify motivators and blockers within existing and new user journeys (to completing an action)

Tools:

  • Card sorts
  • Usability tests – think out louds
  • Focus groups
  • Interviews
  • Online surveys

The product user journey – a never ending source for research and testing inquiry

‘Uninitiated’ member proto-persona from the Discovery phase of understanding the needs of members

User Research Labs

Where?

On top of the UX team, we invited developers/wider teams to participate in observing/recording user testing labs in London and Manchester.

Most research was done one-on-one with members. We also conducted informal focus groups, usability and interview sessions at party constituencies in Cardiff and London.

Video still of a moderated desktop user testing session in Manchester

Setting up recording equipment at the Usability Lab, Manchester Metropolitan University

Observation room at the Interaction Lab, City University London

Synthesis

This typically means amalgamating and decoding insights from:

  • Heaps! of post-it notes taken by different members of the team
  • Digital notes (e.g. Apple Notes, Google Docs) usually taken by the interviewer/moderator
  • Video recordings (usually of the screen interactions rather than the participant)
  • Photos taken from the session

Tools:

  • Affinity mapping – organising themes from post-its to answer research questions
  • Video editing a highlights reel of session (great for stakeholder buy-in!)

Deliverables:

Besides discussions with the wider design and development team, I distilled insights in finding documents or reports – providing actionable design recommendations, design validation and any evidence to open new lines of research inquiry.

Affinity mapping in action

A single affinity sort: conversations with members on their LP relationship

Affinity sort for identifying blockers in an activation journey

Reporting visual accessibility issues spotted on a prototype

In-app Surveys (Qual & Quant)

Rating MyLabour and crunching the quantitative data to get mean scores against app usage analytics. Does feedback coincide with big changes to design and user journeys over time?

Reports of recommendations from analysing qualitative data in survey results

User feedback from analyses are reflected in design changes for future betas

Next Steps

A major revamp of the Labour Party website will include MyLabour as the ‘logged in’ resource portal for members while UX development has currently been paused.