https://committeesengagement.blog.parliament.uk/2017/07/04/520/

Who are our users, and what are their needs?

We conducted a survey to learn more about our users, their needs and the way they like to consume information. This is just the start of a larger user research project. Here's what we learned.

How did the survey work?

We created two short surveys and promoted them during dissolution.

One was promoted on all committee Twitter accounts, and the other on all committee web pages.

We heard from 233 people in total (Twitter: 136; Website: 97).

 

What were its objectives?

We wanted to learn more about:

  • Who our users are
  • What they want more of
  • What format of report they prefer
  • Where they get their information
  • Why they are interested in the committee(s)

 

The results

Who are our users?

We asked participants what best describes them.

 

Website vs Twitter

  • Note: students make up a relatively high portion of website users (7.2%), but a very small amount of Twitter users (0.7%)

 

What would our users like to see more of?

We were surprised to see 'Links to evidence' gain such a strong response. Our meaning was links, as in 'hyperlinks', to written and oral evidence documents. However, we have since questioned how this phrase was interpreted. 'Links' could be read as 'connections', and 'evidence' could be read as either specific committee evidence or proof more generally.

This underlines the importance of removing any ambiguity in multiple choice options - a learning we will take forward in future surveys.

Other comments

Inquiry timeline

  • ‘Timeline for easy recap on what has already passed’ (this is something the we have already begun work on).

 

Following-up

  • ‘To follow up on inaction from government promises’
  • ‘I would like follow up action by committee when there has been no action by government’

 

What format of report most appeals to our users?

PDFs may not be around forever, but they are still the most popular way to consume reports. We will be working to improve the visibility of where to download PDFs on the website.

How does this differ for website and Twitter?

There's a slight discrepancy between preferred video format on the website and Twitter. Website users would prefer a video of the Chair, while Twitter users would prefer a video summary.

 

Where do our users receive their information?

It's worth noting here that more users state news aggregators (eg Apple News, Google Newsstand) as a source of information than Twitter. We'll be working to increase our presence in these spaces.

 

What is the reason for our users' interest in the committee(s)?

Reliable information

Getting the facts, rather than media reporting

Because they expose the truth behind the spin

To find out what's going on

Interested in one inquiry

I am a Southern Railway Train Driver

I enjoy playing and watching sport but I am concerned by cheating in sports. Sky, Mo Farah etc.

Volkswagen owner seeking justice in the EA189 "dieselgate" emissions scandal

For studying/teaching

For A Level politics

Modern Studies teacher (UK Parliament is part of the curriculum, including the work of committees)

Implications for their sector

To learn about developments affecting the agribusiness sector, its structure and prospects for the future.

Provide support to other pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists undertaking research or looking for education and training opportunities so I like to stay up-to-date with committees

Brexit

Brexit came as a shock and I am keen to see the Government kept in check rather than being allowed to be a "bloody difficult woman" take a reasoned and informed approach.

Irish citizen living in the U.K. for less than 3 years. Mortgage/car/partner and pets! What will happen to me at brexit?

Brexit and how it will pan out

 

Next steps

We'll be using this data to inform our content strategy, and have already begun implementing actions based on insights gathered here.

 

To stay up to date with what select committees are doing in digital engagement, get notifications when we publish a new post.

 

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