Before joining the Home Office, I was a researcher at a university, exploring the impact of digital technology on the quality of life for vulnerable people in social care. When I started looking for a User Researcher role, I noticed the Home Office’s strong emphasis on ensuring user research is ethical, including getting a record from users to show that they understand what the research was about and had agreed to take part. The Home Office would also provide an opportunity to work alongside people such as content and interaction designers, which I had not been able to do in previous roles.
I joined the department in June 2020. My day-to-day role involves working within a user-centred design team who design and build prototypes and carry out research with people who use, or will use, the service we’re building. This could be Home Office staff or the general public. A lot of this research is iterative, which means we do small batches of user research for each development phase. This helps us quickly learn whether the things we are building work well for users. I then analyse the findings and share what we’ve learned with the team to help them design a better service.
There is a lot of variety in this job, and I get to work on projects at different stages of the development phase. It is a continuous learning curve, and it can be rewarding to be a part of integrating a user-centred design culture into workflows.
I really enjoy working at the Home Office. There are opportunities to develop and learn from other researchers and professions. I’m also fortunate to be part of a network of user researchers as I get to bounce ideas off and learn from other researchers on a daily basis.