Office of National Statistics

Respondent self-service

Survey Data Collection is an external service that allows businesses to complete surveys and send them to ONS

The project was initiated as an internal business requirement to have communications categorised so that they can be triaged. It soon became clear that this requirement could be met by fulfilling a user need of allowing respondents to fix account issues and provide help completing surveys online.

Users are sending issues not related to data queries through the secure messaging service. This increases the workload for internal staff who are spending time dealing with non-data query related issues.

We can relieve the workload of internal staff by ensuring issues not related to data issues are solved on the SDC site or by directing users to a solution more efficiently. We can meet the needs of respondents to have issues dealt with efficiently by having them classify any messages to ONS upfront. We can reduce the number of secure messages being sent as we can answer some issues in the SDC system before a message is sent.

What I did
I gained an understanding of the issues raised through the secure messaging system by exploring secure message data, categorising the non-data issues and measuring the volumes of the non-data issues. I measured the impact of the issues to the business and revealed where in the user journey issues are raised and determined which issues could be answered succinctly and which needed more complex solutions.

I then refined, simplified and amalgamated the categories to provide the most succinct answers to be presented to the user before they need to send a message.

I analysed one month’s worth of secure message analysis for three large surveys and categorised them manually. I also analysed referrals and page views of the ‘contact us’ screen of the respondents site, the common reasons for respondent secure messages and wrap up codes from the call centre which included complaints, grievances and queries

Understand the problem
Since secure messages from respondents were not categorised, calls and messages to the ONS about issues that could be solved on frontstage are taking internal users’ time away from dealing with data queries and response chasing.

Create a hypothesis
A help section would allow users to solve issues on the site. Where users can’t solve issues on the site they can send the ONS a message which will be categorised (by routing users through the ‘help’ user journey) to help internal staff solve the issue. The aim was to reduce contact with the ONS by allowing staff to spend more time dealing with data queries and response chasing.

Create a prototype and test with respondents
I designed and built a prototype which would allow users to perform the biggest issues internal users had to deal with:
Change user details such as name, email, password
share and transfer survey access
Information about the surveys and ONS

I tested the prototype with 5 participants, separately in 45 minute sessions. Participants were given scenarios in the form of issues to solve on the site. I recorded how the interface allowed users to solve their issue.