Ladies and gentlemen: meet the user

Recently, I attended a workshop at the HCCM where Russell Davis, Director of Strategy at Government Digital Service, talked us through the process of transforming the government’s online presence. He said that, very early on in the process, he affixed this picture on the wall, to remind everyone of who the websites’ users were:

Users

It is a bit hard to see, but this picture shows random people standing on a street corner. With this simple picture, the team were constantly reminded that they were developing a product to be used by the average person in the street. Not a solicitor or someone in parliament. The result was a series of streamlined webpages and even products, with information organised by ‘problem’, and using plain language. For instance, this one:

You can read about it here.

A simple but effective way of reminding ourselves of who the user is, what they value and how they use our product or service don’t you think? In other words, of why we do what do.

Excuse me for a minute; I need to stick some pictures on my wall.

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