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Finding people in UKTI

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What is the concern?

UKTI have a number of internal systems which support staff in their work. One of these, the People Finder on the extranet, has been reviewed following concerns raised by staff about the completeness and accuracy of the data held on the system with the aim of seeing what can be done to improve this.

What we did

To understand the way in which people find each other across UKTI, the digital and internal communications teams decided to carry out user research to find out just what people need.

We started by talking to 23 members of staff, interviewing some at an open-to-all session in UKTI’s business lounge and others in the regions and posts by telephone.

We took a close look at how People Finder works by observing six users carry out an agreed set of tasks.

We also reviewed feedback received over the last year on the People Finder.

From these three activities we developed a clear set of user needs.

What we found

By comparing these needs against People Finder’s functionality we identified three key challenges.

Data not up to date, complete and accurate

Potential solutions could include:

  • communications and follow up to make sure users update their records; this would also include making it easier to log on and edit the people entry
  • the facility to bulk upload records collected by other means

Making searching easier and more effective

Potential solutions could include:

  • training and communications to explain how to use the current system
  • making the system easier to use and more intuitive; improving the taxonomies and the way which they are selected for data entry and searching. The key issues are:
    • taxonomies do not reflect UKTI
    • the selection of the correct level is not intuitive and prone to wrong options being selected
    • inability to select different levels of the same taxonomy structure at the same time

Limitations of the system

An investigation of what can be done within the existing infrastructure was undertaken to understand the technical and contractual limitations on the changes which can be made.

What next

We’re investigating the scope for improving our People Finder with the existing contractor including investigating potential new screen designs. An example of a mock-up of one of the search screens being investigated is given below.

Mock up of screen design

We’ll give an update once we have decided the next steps.

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