https://insidegovuk.blog.gov.uk/2016/02/02/designing-better-content-for-lorry-and-bus-drivers/

Designing better content for lorry and bus drivers

During the summer months, we worked with the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) to improve the content on GOV.UK for lorry and bus drivers.

Lorry driving test
Over 63,000 lorry and bus driving tests were carried out in 2014 to 2015. Image licence: Crown copyright.

Knowing when content needs fixing

There were 2 mainstream guides on GOV.UK that explained the rules and processes about becoming a lorry or bus driver, and staying qualified as a driver.

Data was telling us that these guides weren’t working for users. We could see:

  • users leaving feedback on the pages when they couldn’t find something
  • a high number of on-page searches
  • users moving back and forth between the 2 guides because they couldn't find what they needed
  • users phoning DVLA and the DVSA to ask questions

The problems we found

We looked through all the data to work out the main problems users were having. We realised that there were 3 things we needed to do:

  • review the user needs
  • fix gaps in the content and improve user journeys based on the refined needs
  • use the language that users are using to help them find and understand the content

Going back to the user needs

We went back to look at the user needs we are trying to meet. We wrote 2 new user stories, each with acceptance criteria. You can see these on the 'info' pages for the new guides:

We used the data to make sure the acceptance criteria covered what users needed to know or do - not what we assumed they needed to know.

When we’d got those sorted, we were able to design 2 new guides. They were published in early September 2015, and the old guides were withdrawn and redirected to the appropriate parts of the new guides.

What happened after the changes

We’ve now got a good amount of data to analyse to make sure we’ve improved things.

Reduced movement between guides

The new guides do a better job of meeting the user needs, so fewer users will need to navigate to find what they need.

We looked at the number of users moving from the guide about becoming a lorry or bus driver to the guide about Driver CPC periodic training before and after our improvements. It dropped from 3.6% before the improvements, to 2.5% after the improvements.

The number of users going the other way (from the more advanced training guide to the introductory guide) has dropped too. It went from 6.2% before the improvements, to 5.2% after the improvements.

Reduced searches

These tables show how the average number of unique searches per day and per 1,000 page views has reduced.

This suggests that users have now got the information they need up front, and don’t need to use search to find it when they’re in a guide.

Those using the guide about becoming a driver can now also find everything they need there - they don’t need to go and read another guide. It’s increased the page views of that guide, and decreased page views of the second guide.

Become a lorry or bus driver guide

Guide Total page views Total unique searches Average page views per day Average unique searches per day Average unique searches per 1,000 page views
Old guide 264,267 376 4,404 6.27 1.42
New guide 321,519 367 5,359 6.12 1.14

Driver CPC training guide

Guide Total page views Total unique searches Average page views per day Average unique searches per day Average unique searches per 1,000 page views
Old guide 216,364 298 3,606 4.97 1.38
New guide 88,963 109 1,491 1.82 1.23

 

Increased feedback

These tables show how user feedback has increased on the new guides.

We can see from the actual feedback comments that it doesn’t mean that we’ve broken something that wasn’t already broken.

The extra feedback is about problems with other pieces of content further down the user journey. These have become apparent now that the earlier parts of the journey have been improved and we’ve helped users get further down the process.

Becoming a lorry or bus driver guide

Guide Total feedback left Average feedback left per 100,000 views
Old guide 5 1.89
New guide 17 5.29

Driver CPC training guide

Guide Total feedback left Average feedback left per 100,000 views
Old guide 3 1.39
New guide 4 4.50

 

What we've done since

To continue improving things, we've worked with DVLA to make it easier for users to get the forms to apply for a provisional licence to drive a lorry or bus. This was one of the main causes of user feedback.

We've also made sure that service start pages in the user journey explain more clearly what the service can and can’t be used for. This was another cause of confusion and feedback.

We’ll keep checking that we’ve reduced on-page searches, and that user feedback is reduced as a result of these improvements.