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https://digitalhealth.blog.gov.uk/2021/05/27/hta-website-redevelopment-beta-assessment-and-reassessment/

HTA Website Redevelopment beta assessment and reassessment

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From: NHSX
Assessment date: 7 January 2021
Reassessment date: 7 May 2021
Stage: Beta
Result: successfully reassessed
Service provider: Human Tissue Authority (HTA)

Service description

The HTA website acts as a repository of information. The website is being redeveloped to:

  • improve the user experience for the HTA website’s key audiences
  • be fully compliant with WCAG 2.1 AA accessibility standards
  • update the website CMS from Drupal 7 to Drupal 9 as Drupal 7 is reaching its end of life
  • reconsider the wider infrastructure to take advantage of cloud hosting and associated benefits
  • major content review, such as guidance, is out of scope for this project, though some content changes are being made and there are post-live plans for wider guidance reviews

Service users

This service is for both the public and professionals (licensees) working at the establishments the HTA regulates. 

Report contents

  1. Understand users and their needs
  2. Solve a whole problem for users
  3. Provide a joined-up experience across all channels
  4. Make the service simple to use
  5. Make sure everyone can use the service
  6. Have a multidisciplinary team
  7. Use agile ways of working
  8. Iterate and improve frequently
  9. Create a secure service which protects users’ privacy
  10. Define what success looks like and publish performance data
  11. Choose the right tools and technology
  12. Make new source code open
  13. Use and contribute to open standards, common components and patterns
  14. Operate a reliable service

1. Understand users and their needs

Decision

The service did not meet point 1 of the Standard.

What the team has done well

The panel was impressed that:

  • the team was able to describe their main user groups and some of their needs and contexts
  • the team could describe user needs from phone as well as online channels 

What the team needs to explore

Before their next assessment, the team needs to:

  • write up user needs in the format ‘As a … I need to … so that ...’ and use these to direct research/testing
  • test and validate changes in 1-2-1 research with members of the public and professionals who haven’t previously used the old or new service
  • carry out research and document findings in line with the service manual, using open questioning as well as pre-set UAT tasks
  • log any research gaps and have a high-level plan for research/testing in public beta

Reassessment

Decision

The service met point 1 of the Standard.

What the team has done well

The panel was impressed that:    

  • the team has conducted user research to validate the changes they have been making to the site, with members of the public and professionals who haven’t previously used the site
  • the team have appropriately set up their moderated usability testing sessions, using both open questioning and pre-set tasks

2. Solve a whole problem for users

Decision

The service did not meet point 2 of the Standard.

What the team has done well

The panel was impressed that:

  • the team had run through various scenarios with professional users
  • the team had a good understanding of existing professional users and what their needs are

What the team needs to explore

Before their next assessment, the team needs to:

  • test and validate changes with members of the public and professionals who haven’t previously used the old or new service

Reassessment

Decision

The service met point 2 of the Standard.

What the team has done well

The panel was impressed that:

  • the team has tested and validated changes in one-to-one interviews with members of the public and professionals who haven’t previously used the old or new service

What the team needs to explore

Before their next assessment, the team needs to:

  • book in and carry out testing for the final minor changes as soon as feasible

3. Provide a joined-up experience across all channels

Decision

The service met point 3 of the Standard.

What the team has done well

The panel was impressed that:

  • the whole organisation is given regular updates about the re-development of the website and different areas of the HTA are able to provide input and advice
  • the team has a good relationship with the call centre and have used insight from calls to identify the content that’s needed

What the team needs to explore

Before their next assessment, the team needs to:

  • demonstrate how the user is redirected to a different organisation, for example MHRA or NHS Blood and Transplant, if their query is not within the remit of HTA

4. Make the service simple to use

Decision

The service did not meet point 4 of the Standard

What the team has done well

The panel was impressed that:

  • the team has substantially reduced the use of frequently asked questions (FAQs)
  • the design has key needs/tasks expressed as verbs on the homepage
  • the group of professional users who tested the site in beta were able to complete key tasks

What the team needs to explore

Before their next assessment, the team needs to:

  • rigorously test and validate secondary navigation journeys, for example via the footer
  • test different versions of key components such as the search bar; consider using gov.uk patterns for key components such as the footer and search bar
  • test and validate whether the use of imagery helps users achieve their tasks
  • test end-end journeys, e.g. starting from external search, gov.uk or other relevant sites

The team should also further reduce or remove FAQs and amalgamate these into core page content, but - given the scope and constraints of the project - this could happen after the public beta goes live. 

Reassessment

Decision

The service met point 4 of the Standard.

What the team has done well

The panel was impressed that:

  • the team have conducted end-to-end usability testing of the secondary navigation journeys within the site, particularly those directed from the footer
  • tested different versions of design components, and iterated based on user feedback

5. Make sure everyone can use the service

Decision

The service did not meet point 5 of the Standard.

What the team has done well

The panel was impressed that:

  • the team has understood the varying needs and context of licensees and older public users who are clearing up their personal affairs
  • the team had done research on mobile devices as well as desktop    

What the team needs to explore

Before their next assessment, the team needs to:

  • carry out research with users with assisted digital and accessibility needs and act on its findings
  • carry out the accessibility audit and act on its findings
  • draft an accessibility statement and be ready to publish this in public beta
  • continue to test and validate changes on a range of devices

Decision

The service met point 5 of the Standard.

What the team has done well

The panel was impressed that:

  • the team has worked really hard on ensuring the new site is accessible, including arranging an external accessibility audit and carrying out user research with users with assisted digital and accessibility needs
  • in building the site, the team’s ethos has affected the whole organisational culture of how accessibility needs are met
  • the team had tested across a range of devices to ensure the site can works on them

What the team needs to explore

Before their next assessment, the team needs to:

  • continue to work in a joined up way across the HTA to ensure accessibility needs are met

6. Have a multidisciplinary team

Decision

The service met point 6 of the Standard.

What the team has done well

The panel was impressed that:

  • the team is small but has a diverse range of skills and expertise, dedicated and engaged people working hard to deliver this service, and there is strong senior stakeholder support
  • as the HTA is a small organisation, everyone is involved with the progress of the new site 
  • there are 4 permanent staff able to make content changes, without the need for developer time

What the team needs to explore

Before their next assessment, the team needs to:

  • ensure that there is a core permanent team that retains the knowledge and skills about the service, as well as training and upskilling additional people from within the organisation

7. Use agile ways of working

Decision

The service met point 7 of the Standard.

What the team has done well

The panel was impressed that:

  • the team works in an agile way in 2 week sprints with the traditional ceremonies, including show and tells for internal and external stakeholders
  • the team has tested the service with senior stakeholders
  • the team has a committed SRO in place who champions the project     

What the team needs to explore

Before their next assessment, the team needs to:

  • continue to work in an agile way
  • continue to ensure there is ongoing senior engagement and support

8. Iterate and improve frequently

Decision

The service did not meet point 8 of the Standard.

What the team has done well

The panel was impressed that:

  • in private beta the team has carried out a round of user testing with professional users

What the team needs to explore

Before their next assessment, the team needs to:

  • carry out additional user testing with members of the public and professionals unfamiliar with the service
  • make sure that the service support agreement with the supplier allows for further improvements to be made to the website once the service is in public beta
  • look at content duplication on the front page and test whether it’s needed

Reassessment

Decision

The service met point 8 of the Standard.

What the team has done well

The panel was impressed that:

  • the team has carried out additional rounds of user testing with members of the public and professional users, including testing the content duplication on the front page
  • the team has service support in place so can continue to iterate the site once it is in Public Beta   

What the team needs to explore

Before their next assessment, the team needs to:

  • ensure that the feedback form is live before going into public beta so that they are able to capture qualitative feedback directly from users - this should be easily accessible across the site so that it is straightforward for users to raise any issues
  • regularly review user feedback and act on it
  • consider carrying out more rounds of user testing if making changes to the site
  • meet with NHSX again for a peer review and to discuss any additional changes made to the site - around 3 months into private beta

9. Create a secure service which protects users’ privacy

Decision

The service did not meet point 9 of the Standard.

What the team has done well

The panel was impressed that:

  • minimal data is captured to provide access to a newsletter which is opt in. The team has undergone an Initial DPIA. The outcome of this was that a full DPIA is not needed  
  • automated security testing is in place; these scans include OWASP’s top 10 web application security risks    
  • the website will be connected to NCSC ACD WebCheck

What the team needs to explore

Before their next assessment, the team needs to:

  • undergo a penetration test from a third party and address any issues that arise from the test

Reassessment

Decision

The service met point 9 of the Standard.

What the team has done well

The panel was impressed that:

  • penetration test has been completed and all high and medium level issues have been resolved, automated testing is in place and an independent penetration test is planned before the next assessment

10. Define what success looks like and publish performance data

Decision

The service did not meet point 10 of the Standard.

What the team has done well

The panel was impressed that:

  • there are Google Analytics funnels set up for key journeys
  • the team had considered some key goals, e.g. reduction in calls about body donation  
  • there is benchmarking in place from the discovery based on user feedback
  • there is a collated monthly report which shows the nature of enquiries to the HTA

What the team needs to explore

Before their next assessment, the team needs to:

  • set up a framework to define what success looks like
  • establish a way to measure user satisfaction during public beta

Reassessment

Decision

The service met point 10 of the Standard.

What the team has done well

The panel was impressed that:

  • the team has established a way to measure user satisfaction during public beta
  • the team has carried out a benchmarking exercise and have created a framework to define what success looks like

11. Choose the right tools and technology

Decision

The service met point 11 of the Standard.

What the team has done well

The panel was impressed that:

  • the team is making use of open source tools where possible
  • the chosen technology stack meets user needs
  • the team has set up automated deployments eliminating downtime
  • the team is making good use of their cloud infrastructure, having established automated scaling and utilising appropriate security tools

What the team needs to explore

Before their next assessment, the team needs to:

  •  continue to evaluate if their chosen technology stack is the best solution     

12. Make new source code open

Decision

The service did not meet point 12 of the Standard.

What the team has done well

The panel was impressed that:

  • the team is making use of open source tools inucling Drupal CMS
  • the team has created reusable components for HTA

What the team needs to explore

Before their next assessment, the team needs to:

  • host the code for the website in a public repository      

Reassessment

Decision

The service met point 12 of the Standard.

What the team has done well

The panel was impressed that:

13. Use and contribute to open standards, common components and patterns

Decision

The service met point 13 of the Standard.

What the team has done well

The panel was impressed that:

  •  the team has made use of open source software where possible

What the team needs to explore

Before their next assessment, the team needs to:

  •  set out a timeline for migrating reports from PDF to HTML

14. Operate a reliable service

Decision

The service met point 14 of the Standard.

What the team has done well

The panel was impressed that:

  • the team has established clear requirements for the availability of the site and established an appropriate level of resilience providing an uptime of 99.95% while being cost effective backups are stored offsite and by utilising infrastructure as code a new environment for the site can be created quickly        

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