Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

Development of 'Safety by Design' Guidance for Online Platforms

16 Incomplete applications

15 SME, 1 large

1 Completed application

0 SME, 1 large

Important dates

Published
Wednesday 14 October 2020
Deadline for asking questions
Wednesday 21 October 2020 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Wednesday 28 October 2020 at 11:59pm GMT

Overview

Summary of the work
Development-and-design-of ‘safety by design’ guidance-for-online-platforms. This guidance will set out what ‘good’ looks like in terms of platform design for user safety. The work includes user research, user-testing, final development of products including their online format to be hosted on gov.uk. Work is to be completed within this financial year.
Latest start date
Monday 16 November 2020
Expected contract length
5 months (until the end of the 20/21 financial year)
Location
No specific location, for example they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Budget range
The expected cost range for this project is £160-180k including VAT.

We would expect most of this cost to be assigned to product development and user-testing/ research.

Suppliers should include a breakdown of costs in their tender.

The supplier will be required to provide regular updates on development of the work to assess progress and spend.

About the work

Why the work is being done
The Online Harms White Paper sets out the government’s ambitions to make the UK the safest place in the world to go online. The White Paper acknowledged the impact that platform design decisions can have on the likelihood of online harm occurring. Government committed to developing a ‘Safety by Design Framework’, a library of practical guidance for companies on how to design safer online services and products. This will be hosted online on gov.uk. This work is being led by DCMS.

This work will help to develop and design a range of guidance on safer platform design choices. The target user for the guidance are small and medium sized organisations and start-ups, with a range of digital skills including low digital competency through to product designers and developers. The work should be completed within this Financial Year, with a review stage in December 2020.
Problem to be solved
The design of online services and products can directly impact on the likelihood of harms occurring to users. However, many companies do not have the necessary information to make safer decision choices. Existing ‘safety by design’ guidance has been produced in a format that many smaller organisations and those who are less digitally literate struggle to implement. There is also a lack of guidance tailored to relevant design relevant roles within the target organisations - specifically product designers, product managers and developers.

This work will be helping to fill this resource gap and will develop a website with an online library of design guidance. The presentation of the guidance will be tailored to organisations with a range of digital skills to enable them to easily adopt a ‘safety by design’ approach.

The work will include collaboration with DCMS to engage with target users and subject experts to help refine the tailored content of the guidance, and will also include sigificant product development and user testing to ensure products are suitable for the target user.
Who the users are and what they need to do
The target users are SMEs and startups organisations, and key design roles within an organisation including product designers and developers. These users need to understand easily how to design an online platform to be safer for their users from the outset to improve standards of online safety.
Early market engagement
The government consulted on the measures outlined in the Online Harms White Paper including the Safety by Design Framework. Consultation found broad agreement with the proposal and its focus on supporting smaller and start-up organisations. Engagements also highlighted the need to support organisations with a range of digital skills and subject knowledge of online harms. Feedback highlighted the need to tailor guidance to some key roles including product designers, product managers and developers.

An initial scoping exercise on the framework was undertaken alongside the publication of the Online Harms White Paper which proposed developing the guidance as an online ‘library’ of resources with a broad range of forms of guidance - including narrative pieces such as case studies and more technical forms such as design patterns.
Any work that’s already been done
Initial scoping work alongside the consultation of the White Paper recommended an approach centred around an online library of resources. It also recommended that interested and relevant stakeholders were brought together to form a ‘community’ to support content development and promotion of the guidance.

DCMS has also undertaken work to review the risks posed to user safety by common features and functions of online services and products. This provides a foundation on which to direct engagement around product development.
Existing team
The existing policy team is three people, with one person’s role primarily focused on supporting this project and another 50% on the project. While there is not another supplier to work with there are other relevant government departments who will be providing support and input on the content and format.
Current phase
Discovery

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
DCMS is based in 100 Parliament Street, London, SW1A 2NP. However, we are currently working remotely and primarily remote working for this project is expected.
Working arrangements
Due to Covid-19 we expect this work to occur remotely unless government advice changes.

Throughout the duration of the project:

Weekly check-in calls with the policy team, over video call;

Monthly updates on progress remotely/ over video call while restrictions are in place and in person when it becomes safe to do so;

Ad-hoc calls/meetings as needed by default video calls but if necessary these can happen in person if it is in line with government guidance.

We would expect to be in attendance at the majority of workshops and can be available for help for other engagements.
Security clearance
Suppliers should be prepared to have CTC (counter terrorism check) for he relevant team before starting work.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
The standard contract will be used.

Skills and experience

Buyers will use the essential and nice-to-have skills and experience to help them evaluate suppliers’ technical competence.

Essential skills and experience
  • Experience and skills in designing websites
  • Experience and skills in designing products or materials to be used by businesses
  • Experience and skills in designing online guidance
  • Experience and skills in designing products or materials to be used by end users with low digital literacy
  • Experience running a multi-stakeholder project
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Undertaking user-research with businesses
  • Delivering to short and defend timescales
  • Designing material or products targeted at SMEs and startup organisations in the technology sector
  • Designing material or products targeted at product designers, developers, and product managers

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
10
Proposal criteria
  • Approach and methodology
  • Time scale
  • Technical solution
  • How the proposed approach meets user needs
  • How the proposed approach meets policy goal of project
  • Team structure
  • Identification and management of risks and dependencies
  • Value for money
Cultural fit criteria
  • Approach to collaborative working with DCMS team
  • Approach to ensuring transparency and clarity about decisions and findings
  • Approach to maintaining open communication
Payment approach
Fixed price
Additional assessment methods
  • Case study
  • Work history
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

70%

Cultural fit

10%

Price

20%

Questions asked by suppliers

1. Error in Q & A session date.
Good Evening All

Please note the error in publishing of the Q & A session. The correct instruction should be as follows:

A Q&A session will be held via video call (google hangouts) to answer any questions suppliers may have about the project.

This will be held on Tuesday 20 October, 11:00-12:00.

The video call (google hangout) can be joined via a computer or via phone.
2. REVISED Q & A SESSION DATE
Good Evening All

In order to afford people more time to organise their attendance, please note we have now pushed back the Q & A session date as follows:

A Q&A session will be held via video call (google hangouts) to answer any questions suppliers may have about the project.

This will be held on Thursday 22 October, 11:00-12:00.

The video call (google hangout) can be joined via a computer or via phone.

Please email scott.salmon@dcms.gov.uk to confirm attendance and joining instructions.

Please reference "Development of 'Safety by Design' Guidance for Online Platforms" in the subject line of your email.
3. Regarding the criterion 'Experience and skills in designing websites' – the notice states that outputs of this process will be hosted on GOV.​UK.

Does this criterion therefore refer to experience in end-to-end website design, or to experience in designing content for GOV.​UK templates?
Suppliers should demonstrate that they have experience in designing content to be hosted online and experience in considering the user experience. This work does not require experience in building a website. The final product will be hosted on gov.uk and the successful supplier will be required to design the guidance and its presentation i n line with gov.uk functionality.
4. Regarding the criterion 'Experience and skills in designing websites' – does 'design' in this context relate to UX/build design, or to content design?
Suppliers should demonstrate that they have experience in designing content to be hosted online and experience in considering the user experience. This work does not require experience in building a website. The final product will be hosted on gov.uk and the successful supplier will be required to design the guidance and its presentation i n line with gov.uk functionality.
5. Can you please clarify your intention for the question ‘Experience and skills in designing products or materials to be used by businesses’. Does this refer to our B2B design experience? Or something different?
The target user for this guidance are SME and startup organisations in the technology sector, specifically those within scope of future online harms legislation. Suppliers should demonstrate experience in producing guidance or similar material that is targeted at businesses.
6. Can you please clarify your intention for the question ‘Undertaking user-research with businesses’. Does this refer to collaborating with businesses to undertake user-research? Or working for businesses to undertake research users within their own client base?
The target user for the guidance are businesses, specifically SME and startups organisation within the scope of the online harms regulatory framework. These companies will have online services products or platforms that enable user-generated content to be stored or shared. As part of the development of the guidance we would expect this work to include user-research on the target users and for the guidance products to be user-tested. The objective for the research is to better understand the forms and presentation of guidance that is most helpful for these target users / organisations.
7. What accessibility standards should the site meet?
DCMS is committed ensuring its online resources are able to be used by as many people as possible. DCMS GOV.UK pages should, where appropriate, meet the requirements of the international WCAG 2.1 AA accessibility standard. The DCMS digital content team will be able to advise the successful supplier on how the final product can be designed to ensure this.
8. Will you have a copywriter/content creator we should collaborate with, or should we use our own resources?
Suppliers will be expected to use their own copywriter and content creator.
9. Who is the expert(s) that will oversee content creation?
DCMS will provide the successful supplier with a list of experts to consult with on the content, this will include policy officials and non-government stakeholders. DCMS would expect to be involved in any workshops or feedback on the content. Content will be signed off by DCMS.
The deadline for asking questions about this opportunity was Wednesday 21 October 2020.