Defining personas for UK Parliament

Defining personas for UK Parliament

UK Parliament, one of the most important websites in the United Kingdom, are looking to increase public engagement with democracy. They believe (and Bunnyfoot agree) that the easier the public can access and use Parliament, the better it is for everyone. UK Parliament worked with Bunnyfoot to produce personas representing the general public to first understand their users.

What UK Parliament wanted:

  • Understand UK Parliament's website users and their requirements, desires and motivations for engaging with democracy
  • Review and update existing personas to incorporate findings of the research
  • Produce mental models and user journeys to be carried through into the design phase of the project
  • Ultimately increase engagement with democracy

What Bunnyfoot delivered:

  • A review of existing research, including a trend analysis of the monthly Parliament survey
  • 3 stakeholder workshops and 16 individual stakeholder interviews to gather valuable input from internal teams representing both houses; encouraging them to engage in the process
  • Two online surveys (one sent to users of the Parliament site, and the other sent to the Bunnyfield database) to provide quantitative data and to inform the direction of the in-depth interviews
  • Conducted 6 days of contextual research to engage with Members, staff and the public. These took place in Westminster, Leeds, Newcastle and an event in Portcullis House (London), one of the days included 6 depth interviews with students.
  • Carried out 40 in-depth telephone interviews, to explore participants' motivations, constraints and requirements
  • Reviewed existing personas and created new personas based on the findings of the research in an engaging analysis workshop with the client
  • Produced a mental model and user journey for the primary persona, complete with sketches for empathy
  • Conducted an ideation workshop to help the team start thinking about solutions
  • Presented findings back to the wider Parliament team and stakeholders from both houses
Persona development: The newly revised personas that emerged from the findings of the research and workshop

The Work

  • We gathered feedback from a total of 1,055 people, from all over the UK, with a range of abilities & disabilities
  • We learned from contextual enquiry that most people don't understand the purpose and value of Parliament, those who are engaged generally care deeply about an issue affecting them
  • The majority of people don't know the difference between Parliament and Government
  • Around 40% of people surveyed want to be more involved but don't know where to start and many feel like they can't make a difference
  • The new site needs to cater to occasional users without hindering frequent users
  • From interviews, we found that politicians and MPs were seen as elitist, lacking diversity, London centric and that the language being used is too complicated
  • The set of 6 personas reflected the information from the interviews with wide ranging understanding levels and with local to global interests in politics
  • Our mental models demonstrated that engagements generally start off with a trigger in a person's local area, fact finding is important as well as knowing what others think about the issues
  • People care about topics affecting their area, themselves, headline topics, professional topics etc.
  • In the ideation workshop, we developed areas that allowed people to see what is happening in their local area, profiles of their MP, a way to follow what MPs are doing and a tool that directs users on getting help with issues based on a topic search
"Working with Bunnyfoot on the discovery for a new parliament.uk website has been extremely busy and very fruitful!"

Kheira Belkacem, User Researcher
Parliamentary Digital Service, House of Commons

Read enough? Get in touch...

Contact Clare Lambert to discuss your needs:
0207 608 1670 more@bunnyfoot.com

Or come visit us, we have offices in Oxford, Sheffield and London.