Awarded to Hippo Digital Limited

Start date: Monday 1 February 2021
Value: £1,100,000
Company size: SME
NHS Test and Trace

User Experience and Design Capability

12 Incomplete applications

10 SME, 2 large

35 Completed applications

27 SME, 8 large

Important dates

Monday 28 December 2020
Deadline for asking questions
Monday 4 January 2021 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Monday 11 January 2021 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
We are looking for UX and design capability to work alongside in-house teams and suppliers. They will work with blended teams to deliver outcomes based on user needs. The contract will support capability gaps within the scope of UX and Design capability in DOS ( ) until end FY 20/21
Latest start date
Monday 18 January 2021
Expected contract length
11 weeks
No specific location, for example they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
NHS Test and Trace
Budget range
Substantial activity is in our pipeline between now and end of FY 2020/21, with an indicative budget against the requirements for this capability being £1.1m exc.VAT. That scope could expand or contract.
Budget approval is subject to Cabinet Office spending controls, service assessments and T&T governance.
The department reserves the right to use any of the DOS pricing methodologies in any SoW (fixed price, capped T&M, or T&M).
Each SoW will outline the work required and associated budget, suppliers will need to provide clear costs to enable tracking.
T&T does not commit to minimum or maximum spend at this point.

About the work

Why the work is being done
The NHS Test and Trace business plan ( sets out the challenges. These include strengthening and scaling delivery through local/national partnerships; expanding testing to 2.5 million a day; expanding and improving contact tracing; reaching contacts faster; identifying and reacting to clusters and outbreaks faster; increasing adoption of the COVID19 app; and making the public part of the continuous improvement of our services.
We are looking for user experience and design capability, to work at pace alongside our in-house teams and other suppliers, to deliver business plan outcomes that meet user needs and government service standards. The contract will support capability gaps across the CX division – specifically those capabilities within the scope of the UX and Design capability in DOS ( ) – until the end of FY 20/21.
Problem to be solved
To deliver our business plan, we need support to create new, and improve existing, Test and Trace transactions, products and services. Current services cut across a range of channels, and are delivered through a complex arrangement of in-house teams, partners and suppliers.
We are looking for a supplier to provide capability to support the user centred design of communication, content, IA, interactions, products, policy, operation and services. This contract will fill design capability gaps within existing and new teams, supporting a range of projects from inception through to live and continuous improvement. This will be through the delivery of outcomes based on user needs and in line with the government service standards.
We anticipate suppliers may need to support 4-5 projects running at any one time – with most significant gaps in service design, interaction design, content design and prototyping. We will also need, through to lesser degree, expertise in user experience and design strategy, accessibility, cross-platform design and information architecture.

Statements of Work will specify outcomes and problems to be solved.
Who the users are and what they need to do
Everyone has a role to play in breaking the chains of COVID-19 transmission, protecting the public’s health and enabling people to return towards a more normal way of life. Within Test and Trace, our high-level users and needs include:

- The general public – who need to behave in a way that can keep themselves, their families and their communities safe
- Users of Test and Trace services – who need easy and convenient access to services, who need to find out as early as possible if they have exposed/been exposed to the virus so they can self-isolate to stop further transmission
- Those providing testing and tracing services, guidance and support at local, regional and national levels – who need to be empowered and enabled to deliver excellent service to the public
- Those designing policy and service – who need fast access to data and insight, and short feedback loops, so they can target and tailor to increase effectiveness and responsiveness of design
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
Existing team
You will work with internal Test and Trace, DHSC, PHE, and NHSD staff from a range of disciplines across the DDaT professions as well as policy, finance, commercial and legal. You will work most closely with our research professions and our user-centred design specialisms, as well as product management, delivery management, and those in service operations.

The successful supplier will be expected to collaborate or work with other suppliers who are providing capabilities as part of a team.
Current phase
Not applicable

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
For the duration of restrictions on movement due to COVID-19, all teams are expected to work and collaborate remotely.
Working arrangements
A Statement of Work will be completed, which will identify expected working arrangements, and outline the outcomes and deliverables expected for each engagement.
Expenses will not form part of the cost unless the Statement of Work specifies non-remote working (e.g. for user research activity).

We anticipate a maximum of 4-5 concurrent engagements at any one time.
Security clearance
NHS T&T requires all supplier staff to have baseline personnel security standard clearance (BPSS).
There may be a requirement for some of the work to require security clearance checks, where this is needed it will be detailed in the Statement of Work.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
Expenses must be pre-agreed and comply with NHS T&T Travel and Subsistence Policy.
For each SoW issued under this contract, the supplier is obligated to undertake the relevant security and criminal checks as determined by NHS T&T, with the Buyer having sole discretion over the acceptance of Supplier Staff who will be performing the activities in the SoW.
Suppliers must comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) May 2018; the Data Protection Act (DPA) 2018, the Law Enforcement Directive and any subsequent amendments/changes to date.

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
  • Provide evidence of experience of designing end-to-end services across a range of on-line and off-line channels
  • Provide evidence of experience of prioritising the understanding of needs and behaviour, and uses insight to underpin and drive design decisions when designing content, product and services
  • Provide evidence of experience of communicating service concepts and ideas using methods that allow others to see all the different parts of a service
  • Provide evidence of experience of pulling together the relevant aspects such as user research, organisation design, business analysis, data science and policy intent to deliver digital services
  • Provide evidence of experience of analysing failure within a service and identifying root causes which can be resolved or documented for future learning
  • Provide evidence of experience of designing and developing services through iteration, research and testing
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Provide evidence of experience of designing services within environments with multifaceted supply and delivery chains
  • Provide evidence of ability to prototype in code
  • Provide evidence of experience with the GOV.UK design system

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Evidence of understanding and examples of passing the Government’s Service Standards Assessment
  • Evidence of designing a service that has passed a government accessibility audit and accessibility beyond standard (e.g. design for neurodivergence)
  • Evidence of working with users to understand their work, their operating context and constraints & identifying and implementing improvements
  • Examples of application of hypothesis-driven user-centred design approach in conditions of high uncertainty and flux
  • Examples of effective communication across organisational, technical and political boundaries, understanding the context
  • Evidence of ability to make informed decisions based on user needs, available technology and value for money
Cultural fit criteria
  • Evidence of dissecting and delivering complex and technical (or clinical) information and making language simple and accessible for non-technical audiences
  • Evidence of establishing a strong User Experience and Design based culture of service and continuous improvement
  • Experience of working with multi-vendor teams and understanding of how to be part of a multidisciplinary, agile service team
  • Experience of collaboration with multiple organisational stakeholders with the aim to achieve a single objective.
  • Experience of transferring knowledge to permanent staff within the client organisation
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
  • Case study
  • Work history
  • Reference
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. How many suppliers will be awarded this contract?
2-3 suppliers
2. At the proposal stage, in order to compare suppliers like for like, how will price be evaluated? Will you be evaluating by total price, rate card or both? How do you ensure that you are completing a genuine value for money comparison rather than just a rate card comparison?
A combination of total price and rate cards will be used to ensure that value for money comparison is achieved
3. Will the scores from the evidencing round be taken through to final evaluation? Or will they only be used for the purposes of shortlisting suppliers?
Scores will be included in the overall decision
4. Through the parallel User Research track or otherwise, are you able to recruit and provide access to users for the purpose of user research?
5. Has the work been fully defined, bounded and prioritised?
No - they will be for each individual Statement of Work.
6. Will you be able to organise access to users and other stakeholders throughout the project?
7. For the first evaluation round (evidence), what would you expect to see from an answer for it to be deemed "exceeding" and score 3 marks?
Exceeding includes clear demonstration of successfully meeting the requirements in terms of more than meeting the Essential and Nice to have skills and experience in the delivery of the requirements in a similarly challenging environments to ours.
8. Do you have any preference between public sector or private sector examples? Or will both be treated equally as long as they are relevant to the question?
Your response should demonstrate experience and knowledge of working with the Gov and NHS service standards and design systems. You can use examples from any sector that demonstrate your experience working in line with those standards and ways of working.
9. Is it permissible to provide more than one example where required to fully address the question?
Yes. It is advisable to answer the question in a way in which you as the Supplier believes will maximise the score awarded when evaluated by the Contracting Authority
10. Please can you share a procurement timetable outlining steps from initial submissions by midnight Mon 11th Jan to work commencement on Mon 18th Jan (typically including evidence response evaluation, shortlisting/informing suppliers, preparation of supplier proposals, evaluation of supplier proposals, announcement of successful supplier, contract completion, contract signatures, commence work)?
An indicative timetable will be as follows;
Evaluation - 12.01.21
Presentations - 13.01.21
Notification - 15.01.21
Internal Approval - 19.01.21
Contract Award - 19.01.21
Contract commencement - w/c 18.01.21
The Contracting Authority will endeavour to meet the timetable but reserves the right to amend the timetable from time-to-time at short notice and Suppliers should only use it as a guide.
11. Which roles will be represented on the evaluation panel?
Service design, content design, commercial
12. What roles are you expecting suppliers to provide? In addition, are you expecting all roles to have the ability to be full-time for the duration fo the project?
The roles written into the Capability Framework ( ). We will specify which among them, and capacity needed, in each SoW. We know we have an immediate need for content designers, service designers and interaction designers. There is no general requirement for roles to be full time for the duration of the project, provided that does not delay delivery. Delivery timescales will be specified in each SoW. Given the typical delivery pressures of Test and Trace it is likely that full-time roles may be needed on specific SoWs in order to meet our delivery timescales
13. Provide evidence of experience of pulling together the relevant aspects such as user research, org design, business analysis, data science and policy intent to deliver digital services". What is meant by "data science?
These will not be data science projects - we are looking for evidence of experience of drawing on data science, of working with data analysts and data scientists. For more on data science, look here: or here:
14. "Provide evidence of experience of designing services within environments with multifaceted supply and delivery chains". What is meant by multifaceted supply chains and multifaceted delivery chains?
Services that can be delivered in a number of different ways and by a potentially wide range of different organisations. There may be multiple organisations involved in any one point in the supply and delivery chain
15. With regards to the #3 bullet under essential skills "Provide evidence of experience of communicating service concepts and ideas using methods to allow others to see all the different parts of a service", when referring to "others" is this with respect to stakeholders, members of the public, or both?
16. Will your Product Owner by allocated full time to this project?
Yes, unless a SoW asks for supplier to provide one.