The Challenge

To provide practical, evidence-based recommendations to the DHSC, so employees can benefit from an improved experience when using the intranet.

A high level brief

As a Crown Commercial Supplier, Vu Online have access to exclusive UK government projects. Holding this status demonstrates (among other things) that we are Cyber Essentials certified and can work securely with sensitive data.

As a long-term agency partner, and fellow Crown Commercial Supplier, DXW trusted us to carry out this discovery work on behalf of the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC). They knew we had experience in leading similar projects with businesses and were happy for us to manage this important user research study on behalf of their end client.

Digital discovery

We used an assortment of evidence-based user research techniques to gather valuable information from DHSC employees. To make sure our findings would be robust, our sample included a range of department roles and experience levels, from new starters to senior civil servants. We spoke to around 50 people over a month.

Our thorough approach included remote one-to-one guided discussions about how employees used the DHSC intranet, specifically looking at the search and navigation menus. We also conducted group MoSCoW sessions, to identify user priorities, and led blue-sky thinking exercises to generate fresh ideas.

To evaluate the existing navigation menu, we held a group card sort task. This enabled us to compare DHSC employees’ ‘mental models’ of a useful navigation structure with the current scheme. From this, we drew up a recommended navigation structure for the DHCS to consider.

The Solution

After conducting a thorough, multi-faceted and representative study, we were able to present the DHSC with practical recommendations for improvement.


After careful analysis, we presenting our findings in a comprehensive 50+ page report. This included practical recommendations for improving the DHSC intranet.

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Businesses recognise the value of co-creating their strategies with outsiders who will forensically tease and test assumptions during a creative non-critical collaborative session.

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