14. Put a process in place for ongoing user research, usability testing to continuously seek feedback from users, and collection of performance data to inform future improvement to the service.

The purpose of this point is to ensure that the service is fit for purpose, maximises digital take-up, and adapts to changing user needs.

There should be a user research, usability testing and feedback plan for each of the Discovery, Alpha, Beta and Live stages. Each plan should show how research and testing will be undertaken, how often, and which staff and other resources will be used. The plan for the Live stage must specifically explain how ongoing research, testing and building will be resourced with the necessary knowledge and skills to improve the service once it is live.

Each plan should show how the full range of end users will be continuously engaged, including those with low or no ability to use the digital service, and those with particular access needs. It also needs to show how feedback from external partners will be captured, whether via formal or non-formal channels.

User research, usability testing and feedback should involve managers who will have knowledge of how well the service is working for users, and ways in which it could be improved. Where a service sits with multiple managers at an organisation level, the plan should be flexible enough to manage their feedback.

The plan should demonstrate a clear path for how qualitative and quantitative data and feedback from users, managers and external partners will feed into the research plan and design of the service.

here is guidance on this documented in the user research and the Agile and government services sections of the Government Service Design Manual.


The Standard was launched on 7 April 2016.

This guidance was last amended on 17 June 2016 as part of Service Standard Sprint #1.

You can read more about the Standard here.

All content in this guide is available under the Open Government Licence v3.0, except where otherwise stated.