Awarded to We Are Snook Ltd

Start date: Sunday 8 April 2018
Value: £39,775
Company size: SME
Hackney Council

Developing a minimum viable user research library

4 Incomplete applications

3 SME, 1 large

6 Completed applications

6 SME, 0 large

Important dates

Tuesday 13 February 2018
Deadline for asking questions
Tuesday 20 February 2018 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Tuesday 27 February 2018 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
Developing a user research library to support sharing and collaboration of user research insights across multiple projects.
Latest start date
Monday 19 March 2018
Expected contract length
1 year
Organisation the work is for
Hackney Council
Budget range
£30,000 - £40,000 excluding VAT

About the work

Why the work is being done
Hackney Council is conducting a growing amont of user research through its agencies and partners, and is about to have three dedicated user research roles in-house, We want to create a user research library so that we can identify patterns and gaps in our knowledge and understanding and share that across the council, with agencies and partners and other public bodies.
Problem to be solved
User research currently exists in a number of different formats and is conducted on a project-level rather than a strategic level.

Core attributes associated with the research are not captured in a way that facilitates broader undertsanding (socio-economic, gender, equalities, date, digital confidence)

Research is shared through usual project rythms rather than on its own.

We begin every project without reference to previously commissioned user research.

Research may be stored in separate places and is difficult to retrieve.
Who the users are and what they need to do
As a user research I need to read existing research findings so that I can hone my research questions

As a lead user researcher I need to review existing research so that I can spot patterns and gaps

As a lead service designer I need to review existing research so that I can iterate design patterns

As an agency I need to understand what the council already knows about its users so that I can focus on key gaps

As staff in another public body I need to see Hackney’s user research so that I can build on it
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
We have assembled links to our existing user research across docs in Google Drive, Trello, Jira and PDFs.

Our service design methodology is set out:
Existing team
Currently working with 5 agencies on briefs that involve user research; employ 2x user research contractors and have a user researcher to shortly take-up a permanent role.

The team is recruiting a lead user research, 2x service designers and 2x front-end developers in the next few weeks.

We are also developing a front-end tool kit, and intending to develop design patterns (based on GOV.UK) and API documentation in Github.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Hackney Service Centre, 1 Hillman Street, E8
Working arrangements
We would expect the supplier to be based onsite for key moments of the project with a focus on putting the MVP in place in the first few weeks, and then checking-in (say 6 and 9 months) to evaluate progress and re-examine user need.
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
  • Have awareness of the needs of a multi-disciplinary team, including user research, service design, front-end developer and product owner
  • Be familiar with user-centred design and Agile approaches
  • Understand how the tool could fit into common workflows for a digital team (eg. Github, Slack)
  • Be agnostic of any particular software, enabling us to consider a range of options to meet user needs
  • Share their work freely and openly with the Council and the wider community
  • Be able to build or design a tool that’s so good, people prefer to use it
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Be able to meet the Local Government Digital Service Standard
  • Experience of a similar project

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Understanding of user needs from the service
  • Clarity of the approach
  • Experience from an analogous project
  • Team structure, including skills, experiences and relevance of individuals
  • Identification of risks and plan to mitigate them
Cultural fit criteria
  • Work as a team with our organisation and other suppliers
  • Be transparent and collaborative when making decisions
  • Share knowledge and experience with team members and the wider service
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Assessment methods
Written proposal
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Does Hackney Council already own licenses to any knowledge management platforms such as Microsoft Office 365 (O365) or Microsoft SharePoint (SP)? If not, does Hackney Council prefer open-source platforms, or licensed platforms such as SP? Does Hackney Council have preferences on using an on-premise solution versus a SaaS platform (such as O365)?
We prefer SaaS and open source software where possible, in keeping with our commitment to cloud-first services that meet the Local Government Digital Service Standard.

We are in the process of migrating from Office to GSuite.
2. We understand from the description that there will be a concentrated delivery effort at the beginning of the contract for a few weeks/months, to deliver an MVP. What is the nature of the required work for the remainder of the contract (described as "checking-in (say 6 and 9 months) to evaluate progress and re-examine user need.")?
We’ll need to design this in detail closer to the time. However, our assumption is that a combination of changing people, different types of research and new software tools will lead to changing requirements, expectations and levels of buy-in to the library. So it’s good to have the ability to audit its use and value - and change accordingly.
3. Is it the expectation that the successful supplier will provide a self-contained delivery unit (comprising roles such as Product Owner, Scrum Master, User Researcher, UX Designer, Developers, etc.) which will integrate with the existing team, to design and build the User Research Library MVP?
Yes. The team will need to be sufficient to fulfil the brief. However, we expect they will need the knowledge of our existing teams - and potentially support the lead user researcher in becoming the product owner for the library.
4. Where it is stated that "The team is recruiting a lead user research, 2x service designers and 2x front-end developers in the next few weeks." Is it the expectation that the successful supplier will provide these roles, or will these roles augment the existing team, with which the supplier will integrate?
No - this information is provided only to help the supplier understand the roles of the most likely users of the library, and that they may or may not be in post at the start of the project.
5. Do you have a preference in mind for the kind of solution you are looking for i.e. off-the-shelf vs. bespoke?
No. Whilst we assume that there will be an off the shelf solution, this may be wrong.
6. From your point of view, are there any major risks or blockers we might face in developing a functional and objective MVP?
No. The major risk is that we develop good enough software that leads to low uptake because it’s sufficiently difficult to use and doesn’t provide enough value to any one individual team.
7. We note that you are in the process of recruiting service designers and developers. How much might you envisage them contributing to the project / being involved on a day-to-day basis?
The roles we’re currently recruiting will be users of the library so, where possible, their views should be considered as part of the design and onboarding.
8. What is driving the latest start date of 19th March? Did you have in mind by when you would ideally like the MVP to be in pilot?
The only driver is that the more user research we collect outside the library, the bigger the task in bringing it into the library. So the sooner the library is established, the sooner we can collect valuable data and insights.
9. In theory, this tool could range from a simple library with smart tagging system up to a sophisticated analysis tool that can help in identifying gaps and patterns. Obviously one is more complex and therefore more time and money consuming than the other. Where would you say this MVP sits on this spectrum?
We envisage the library would be simple with a basic tagging system and that, once it is embedded and useful, we’ll have a clearer understanding of where any further investment would be valuable
10. The problem to be solved and user needs are clear. Is there a discovery project that exists that expands on these user needs, or would you be looking to the successful bidder to undertake some in depth exploration to understand the nuanced needs of each user in more detail?
There isn’t a discovery project that expands on these needs so we would expect the use of the MVP (its onboarding and subsequent evaluation) to help inform the more detailed understanding of needs.
11. If the roles currently being recruited for are not in post at the start of the project, who would the core team in receipt of this work at Hackney Council be made up of? In addition, we note that 5 agencies are currently working on research briefs - is it the right understanding that they would be part of the wider stakeholder team for this project?
The core team would be the Head of Digital, a Delivery Manager and user researcher - drawing in the two in-house sprint teams currently interacting with user research as well as the 5 agencies currently conducting user research.