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HFEA website and clinic finder - Beta service assessment

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The panel would like to thank the service team for their time, the amount of effort which clearly went into the assessment and congratulate them on passing. Thanks to colleagues from NHS Blood & Transplant for joining DH on the assessment panel.

The HFEA website provides information for patients, donors, donor-conceived people, professionals working in clinics, researchers and the media. The redesign project aims to better meet user needs and upgrade an outdated infrastructure.

The clinic finder is a tool for patients and clinics to get impartial, unbiased information about clinics, the treatments they offer and how successful they are.

Department / Agency:
Human Embryology and Fertility Authority (HFEA)

Date of Assessment:
11 May 2016

Assessment Stage:

Result of Assessment:

Lead Assessor:

Service Manager:

Digital Leader:
A. Bye

Assessment Report

Outcome of service assessment

The panel decided that on balance the service was ready to pass into a public beta phase. There is a significant amount of work to do and adjustments to make to ensure that service adheres to the standard for live operation.

The team have made great progress and done well continuing to iterate the website and clinic finder since the alpha assessment. The team have it within their ability to build a user focused service and a public beta will provide them with qualitative data to go alongside their user research to continue to build and iterate.


Before public beta:

  1. Resolve Javascript issues prior to public beta launch to ensure the website works fully without Javascript capability.

User needs and assisted digital:

  1. Develop a plan, and conduct user research to integrate qualitative research with the incoming google analytics data.
  2. Run a heuristic analysis of the interface design elements with focus on usability, interactive elements and design language consistency.
  3. Have a way to measure the success of the assisted digital support through the beta period.

The team:

  1. The work doesn’t stop after public beta. The team need to establish a plan for the continued development of the service once the current delivery partner leaves.

Improving the service and design:

  1. Take time to review against the service manual and design patterns. Some of this has been done, but there are more opportunities to improve the service. (Additional design comments sent via email)
  2. Review the possibilities of integrating iconographic elements to increase the recognisability of information fields and improve the overall UX (something that could be tested with A/B tests).
  3. Test different designs of the clinic search to see whether efficiency could be improved, e.g. one line of information per clinic to make comparison easier, advanced filtering appearing later in the journey etc.
  4. Review and improve the user journey for donors.
  5. Review search functionality as it is currently confusing and consider/test a universal search function.
  6. Review the need for a published comment facility at the bottom of content pages. Investigate alternatives (e.g. a GOV.UK style simple feedback mechanism)

Security, privacy, tools and standards:

  1. Provide the list of clinics as a public register via an API and variety of different standard representations.
  2. Engage with Paul Downey at GDS to discuss the cross­-government registers work, and re­use the code or build their register to the standards GDS are setting.
  3. Work closely with NHS Choices to provide the clinic data to their service finder.
  4. Review privacy impacts of comment facility.
  5. Start to code in the open.


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