Start date: Wednesday 20 March 2019
Value: £68,365
Company size: SME
Highways England Company Limited

User Research for Highways England Website

34 Incomplete applications

30 SME, 4 large

43 Completed applications

36 SME, 7 large

Important dates

Wednesday 10 October 2018
Deadline for asking questions
Wednesday 17 October 2018 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Wednesday 24 October 2018 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
The aim of this project is to help us establish the user needs and requirements for our new corporate website and ‘road projects’ website through stake holder interviews, user research and testing and to help us refine these through the development process.
Latest start date
Saturday 1 December 2018
Expected contract length
3 months initially - possible further work depending on success of project.
Yorkshire and the Humber
Organisation the work is for
Highways England Company Limited
Budget range

About the work

Why the work is being done
We are building a new website to be the new face of Highways England online. Before we can proceed we need to establish the user needs and business requirements for our website and identify opportunities which will support our digital roadmap going forward.
Problem to be solved
We need to establish and understand user needs for both current and potential users of our digital services and understand the assisted digital requirements of users to help us establish and refine the requirements for our new website.
Who the users are and what they need to do
Our users need to understand the role of Highways England, the impact and benefits our work has on them, their journeys and their communities. As well as be able to provide their views or work with us. Suppliers need to know about opportunities for working with us. Potential employees need to understand what vacancies there are. From our point of view, we need to understand our customers’ needs and provide information that builds our corporate reputation. As a public body, we also need to understand what our regulators require of us to ensure we meet our statutory obligations.
Early market engagement
We have an existing website in place as well as content on GOV.UK. As a result we have a lot of existing feedback and the results of a previous web estate review which took place in 2016 to establish levels of customer satisfaction with our current services.
Any work that’s already been done
Existing team
They will work primarily with the existing digital team in Highways England. This would involve the Digital Services team in Leeds and Birmingham.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
As we want the provider to work primarily with our users the majority of this work can take place off site. However, it may require some time to be spent at our offices for briefings, reporting and feedback and for interviews with stakeholders
Working arrangements
We want the provider to communicate with our users and potential users so they can do this in whatever way they feel is most appropriate and we would not require them to be on site for any specific amount of time. We would expect them to visit our teams in Leeds and Birmingham as required for meetings and workshops as well as be available for regular tele-conferences. They may need to visit our offices more in the initial phase of work as we plan and agree the scope of the project.
Expenses should be covered within budget for the project
Security clearance

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
Additional Information
Major tasks and deliverables
Acceptance Criteria

• Collation and publishing results as raw data, to enable us to review each user’s experience if necessary
• Report detailing all aspects of research undertaken highlighting the user and business needs
• Adherence to meeting the digital service standard’s “How to do user research in discovery”

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 3+ years’ experience conducting user experience research
  • Have 3+ years’ experience establishing and validating user needs for digital services
  • Have In-depth understanding of user-centered research, design principles, methods and tools
  • Experience of identifying users of digital services in the public domain and securing their participation in user research
  • Experience of effective engagement with current and potential users, including assisted digital users.
  • Have excellent analytical, problem solving, written and verbal communication skills
  • Proven experience of organizing, managing, executing and analysing usability test sessions
  • Knowledge and experience of delivering digital services to the GDS service standard and design principles
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Experience working with local or national government
  • Experience of taking a service through the GDS service assessment process
  • Experience of working in/with public sector teams, particularly those with no/limited experience of Agile, Discovery and iterative development
  • Have demonstrable experience of working in a culture of continuous delivery and improvement
  • Experience of leading Discovery and Alpha phases within the public sector
  • Experience of delivering the expected outcomes for the Discovery and Alpha phases

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Approach and Methodology
  • Estimated timeframes for the work
  • How the approach or solution meets our goals
  • Value for money
  • Work with us as part of a team
  • Work well in a collaborative agile team and be confident at communicating and demonstrating developments and ideas
  • Demonstrate courage and challenge the status quo (e.g. can express controversial views, confront reality, make tough decisions,)
  • Demonstrate responsibility (e.g. act like a leader, provide solutions to problems, seek the best for the organisation beyond your team)
Cultural fit criteria
  • Be respectful of different opinions and constructive in feedback
  • Can work with users with low technical expertise
  • Share knowledge and experience
  • Have proven experience of stakeholder management and strong negotiation skills
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Work history
  • Reference
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Will this role be within the scope of IR35?
The requirements of this opportunity fall outside the scope of IR35.
2. Is there an incumbent in place and if so – will they be applying?
There is no incumbent and ideally we are looking for a small team/agency to deliver this work as it is doubtful that an individual could do all of the work needed by themselves in the 3 month time frame.
3. Do you have a budget or target day rate for this role?
The estimated budget for the 3 months is £75,000 including expenses.
4. Hi, can you confirm the maximum budget please?
We have an estimated budget of £75,000 for the three months work, including all expenses.
5. How do you expect supplier to provide evidence for the following question? 'Have 3+ years’ experience conducting user experience research'. Do you expect to us to provide just on example of work previous work done and its outcomes?
3+ years’ experience conducting user experience research’ is a bench mark to show Highways England requires this level of experience for this service. The potential supplier should know if they have the required experience and they should therefore apply for the work on this basis. The supplier must demonstrate this experience in their initial application as best they can at the first shortlist stage, if suppliers make it through to the next stage (written proposal) we would expect this evidence to be more fully addressed in the written proposal, work history and reference.
6. You refer to previous research – can you share the output / headlines please?
This information will be provided to suppliers who make it through to the short-list stage.
7. How do you make the distinction between site and the corporate website? Are you keeping both?
Highways England is now a publicly owned company, as such we have permission to come out of ‘GOV.UK’ and have our own web presence. The end result of this project is that our primary corporate website will be at ‘’, this should be the main focus for our users and most of our content on GOV.UK will be archived.
8. Will the team that is delivering the new website be involved with this work?
The Highways England digital team and other interested parties in the company would like to be as involved as possible in this work to help us get a better understanding and feel for our users and their issues, which will be a big help to us in improving the website going forward. However, we can discuss the details of this involvement with the shortlisted suppliers.
9. Is there any expectation to create and test early-stage prototypes as part of this work?
The expectation is that the prototypes would come later and this research is what we would use to guide the making of those prototypes in the next phase. We are not averse to early stage prototypes and it is something we can look at if there is time and the chosen supplier thinks they would be of benefit as part of this work. It is something we can discuss with the chosen supplier.
10. Are there any areas of the website behind logins?
There are no live public facing parts of the website that are currently behind logins.
11. Are there any functional elements of the site e.g transactional services? Or is it just an information website?
The website is mainly informational, there are no major transactional elements. There is commenting functionality, several feedback forms and the ability for people to apply for jobs etc. but that is all.
12. Whilst it is implicit in the information you've provided, can you confirm that:
• It is your expectation that the winning bidder's team will work in ways aligned to those set out in the GDS Service Manual (
• The Highways England website as ultimately delivered will need to meet the GDS Service Standard?
Whilst Highways England is coming out of the main ‘’ website we still want to work with the GDS Service Manual and align ourselves as close to the GDS standard as possible, use open standards, agile methodologies, create an environment of continuous improvement etc. although there is no need for our service to go through a formal GDS assessment.
13. Who are the main user groups for the current website?
Clarifying the user groups is part of this project, but we would currently broadly say the following:

• Domestic and commercial road users
• Property owners and local residents
• Local and national media
• National and local government
• Motoring organisations
• Construction companies and trade bodies
• Environmental and lobby groups
14. Are there any potential user groups not catered for on your current website?
Finding out if there are any user groups we are not catering will form a big part of what this research is about; Highways England itself needs to know the answer to this question.
15. Are there regulations or requirements about how much of the content on the current website or corporate website you need to keep?
That has still to be finalised, most of our existing content on GOV.UK will most likely be archived. The new corporate website will be the central ‘hub’ for users to access all of our information and the content included will be driven by the user needs we establish as part of this research.
16. How high is awareness of your website amongst your target audiences? How do they find out about it?
The level of awareness of our website is something we want to know more about and build on. Most people will find out about our site via web searching, GOV.UK, social media, emails and comms around our roadworks etc. Our web presence is quite split at the moment and we want to re-focus this around our new corporate website.
17. Will Transport Focus share their research, if relevant, as part of the project?
Any research that we have or has been made available to us where relevant and where possible (confidentiality etc. allowing), will be shared with the chosen supplier to aid them in this project.
18. What are your main objectives behind the website rebuild?
The main objectives of the website rebuild is to create a public facing web presence for Highways England that will help us build awareness of the company and the work we do, encourage people to want to work for us and with us, help us increase engagement with the public and our stakeholders, keep them informed, get our important messages across and provide our diverse user base with the information that they want and need when and where they need it.
19. • In RFC, its mentioned that there is a feedback of web estate review which took place in 2016 to establish levels of customer satisfaction with current services, can the feedback shared with us so that we design the website for best user experience?
• There is no mention of technology stack, when revamping the website do we have to go with existing technology or we are free to use more latest, advanced web technologies?
We will share the existing website research, reports, and feedback etc. with the chosen supplier to assist them in their research. This project is part of our discovery phase to establish and validate our user needs and as such we are not at the point of designing the website yet. The technology stack for the new website has not been mentioned as we are not at the stage of building the site yet. This project is purely a user research and testing piece to establish and validate our user needs to inform the next stage of the project.