Awarded to Invotra Consulting Limited

Start date: Monday 14 March 2022
Value: £57,600
Company size: SME
Essex County Council

User research to support the development of an improved Essex Local Offer digital service

5 Incomplete applications

5 SME, 0 large

8 Completed applications

7 SME, 1 large

Important dates

Wednesday 12 January 2022
Deadline for asking questions
Wednesday 19 January 2022 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Wednesday 26 January 2022 at 11:59pm GMT


Specialist role
User researcher
Off-payroll (IR35) determination
Contracted out service: the off-payroll rules do not apply
Summary of the work
The ECC Service Transformation team have undertaken discovery and alpha phases of work on the SEND Local Offer. We are looking for an experienced User Researcher to support the testing of redesigned content and Information Architecture for the beta and live phases of the new local offer digital service.
Latest start date
Monday 28 February 2022
Expected contract length
Expected length is 6 months with the option to extend by up to 6 weeks with 2 weeks notice
East of England
Organisation the work is for
Essex County Council
Maximum day rate
Up to £450 a day depending on experience

About the work

Early market engagement
Who the specialist will work with
You’ll be working with our in-house delivery team (content designer, interaction designer, service designer and product manager) and a commissioned partner who will be developing the technical solution for the Local Offer
What the specialist will work on
•Develop a research plan with the Local Offer team and align user research activities to inform decisions
•Recruit professional and non-professional users for user research
•Manage the scheduling of user research activities and communication with participants
•Test content, information architecture and navigation elements of the new website
•Lead a collaborative process of data synthesis so the team understand the user findings
•Share insights and recommendations in a clear and concise manner
•Document findings so there is a clear thread between the data collected and design decisions
•Undertake assurance of ethics and consent processes, develop necessary privacy and equality impact assessments

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
The work will take place remotely, however, your research will be carried out with users of the Essex Local Offer website who predominantly live and/or work in the county of Essex
Working arrangements
The supplier will carry out the work remotely and communicate with our content designer and service designer using Microsoft Teams or Slack and use other collaboration tools such as Trello and Miro.
Security clearance

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions

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
  • Extensive experience of conducting user research for digital content and websites
  • Able to plan user research for services with challenging user needs and complex user journeys, and advise on the research methods to assure best practice
  • At least one example of working with users of public and / or government digital services
  • At least one example (in addition to the previous) of developing and conducting inclusive and accessible research
  • Able to help teams understand the diversity of users of government services, advocate for inclusive practices and help design and deliver accessible services that work for all users
  • Experience of successfully recruiting and retaining research participants using a range of techniques and incentives
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Experience of research with users who have experience of disability, special educational needs and / or are carers
  • Examples of communicating research in a meaningful way that engages stakeholders and teams to create shared understanding
  • Experience of working in agile, multi-disciplinary teams from discovery through to supporting a live service

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a work history.

How many specialists to evaluate
Cultural fit criteria
  • how the specialist works with other people
  • how the specialist solves problems
  • the specialist’s approach to making decisions
  • how the specialist shares knowledge and experience
  • the specialist’s attitude to making mistakes
Additional assessment methods
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Is there any incumbent?
No, previous user research around the SEND Local Offer has been undertaken by our in-house design team.
2. Is there any flexibility on rate?
No the rate for this work is set as up to £450 a day
3. Please confirm this is outside IR35?
Can confirm this is outside IR35
4. Is there an expected minimum size for the public/citizen user research group?
We do not have anticipated quotas for specific groups or a set minimum sample size. Instead we would like recruitment to represent the ‘range’ of Local Offer users and to fill the gaps that we have identified from previous research.
5. For the public/citizen user research are there any anticipated quotas for representative user research i.e. specific percentages of older adults, or people from ethnic minority communities?
We would expect the user researcher to advise on sample sizes and provide a view on when participation has reached a point of saturation that no new insights will alter the main findings.