Awarded to The Talking Shop Manchester

Start date: Friday 29 July 2016
Value: £10,000
Company size: SME
Government Digital Services [GDS]

(WP1113) Recruitment of participants for 6 rounds of usability tests on the content on GOV.UK

0 Incomplete applications

10 Completed applications

10 SME, 0 large

Important dates

Tuesday 7 June 2016
Deadline for asking questions
Tuesday 14 June 2016 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Tuesday 21 June 2016 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
Supplier of user research participants for monthly face-to-face usability tests of content on GOV.UK. Sessions will run one day a month and be on general content needs and understanding of This brief is for 6 rounds of research.
Research dates
Once per month. Dates TBC. First round to take place between 29 June - 9 July
Organisation the work is for
Government Digital Services [GDS]
Budget range

About the work

Early market engagement

About the research

Description of your participants
*General criteria for all participants*
-Spread of males and females
-Spread of ages
-Spread of socio-economic groups
-1/4 of people should be low confidence internet users on a computer
-At least 1/4 of people should have English as their 2nd language.
-Nobody to be involved in designing or building websites for a living or working in government or local government
-All participants must be willing to sign a non-disclosure agreement and be photographed and filmed

*Specific requirements will be added for each round. For Round 1 we also require:*
-Must have been a victim of flooding within the last 12 months (preference for last 6)
-Must have sought help or support at the time of flooding

*This final screener requirement will change depending on the need of that round*
Assisted digital and accessibility requirements
We would expect 20% of participants over time to have some assisted digital needs.
In your proposal you should demonstrate how you would recruit participants with assisted digital needs.
Research plan
The research will be used to gain insights into understanding of the content on GOV.UK and how closely it matches with the needs of citizens.
This is a continued piece of work to constantly improve the content GOV.UK provides the public.

Round 1 of this research will focus on victims of flooding. The theme will vary month on month although the recruitment and methodology will be largely the same each month. We will discuss these small changes with the chosen supplier at the relevant time.
Research location
The research is face-to-face and will primarily take place at our usability lab:
Aviation House, 125 Kingsway, Holborn, London, WC2B 6SE.

***Optional extras we ask of suppliers on top of our existing location requirements**
We ask that the supplier adds the costing for two days of lab booking as an optional extra in their proposal in case our lab is unavailable.

We also ask that the supplier offers the optional extra to provide a host at the location who would be able to handle the arrival of the participants and deliver incentives.
Access restrictions at location
Our lab at Aviation House is fully accessible. We would request that any external lab provided by the supplier also be fully accessible.
Number of research rounds
6 (1x per month June - November)
Number of participants per round
5 participants per round
No spares required
30 in total.
How often research will happen
One day per month from June-November.
Tentatively scheduled for the last working week of each month.
Evening or weekend research

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
We require all cash incentives for participants to be organised by the supplier at a pre-agreed reasonable rate.

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
  • be able to recruit participants in batches for face-to-face research
  • manage participants to ensure quality and attendance
  • be able to handle research incentives for participants
  • recruit for usability/user experience research and testing
  • screen participants based on specific criteria and information needs
  • be able to recruit participants with assisted digital and low digital confidence
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Offer external facilities for research as an alternative option to the GDS facility
  • Provide a host to manage participants and incentives on the day

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Ability to perform regular recruitment of new respondents
  • Suitable lead time for recruitment each month
  • Ability to provide a variation in respondents
  • Screen to ensure suitable participants
  • Evidence of ensuring participant attendance
  • Show an ability to adapt recruitment criteria between rounds with suitable notice from GDS
  • Suitable external lab options when GDS lab is unavailable
  • Demonstrate a method to identify participants with low-digital confidence. From our experience this will likely require offline communication.
  • Experience recruiting participants with assisted digital needs
  • Organising and handling incentives for participants at a suitable amount
  • Provide profiles and information for selected participants in each round
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Interview
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence






Questions asked by suppliers

1. Would you consider running telephone or remote sessions to speak with people based in 'at risk' areas across the UK?
Our preference is that the sessions would be in-person rather than over the phone. This is because we would like to test an existing website and observe their interactions with it.
We would be able to travel to a location to meet participants if we are unable to find a venue they are able to travel to.