Re-nomination journey


During the past few weeks, the ECF team has been working on a number of improvements starting with helping users with problems accessing the service.


The original design of the service made it difficult for new school induction tutors (SITs) to access the service if the previous SIT left without providing a proper handover because the system was unable to recognise the new SIT’s email address. Consequently, schools had to go through a complicated process to update the email address, and many failed to do so, resulting in a surge of support tickets.


We realised that the service UI and guidance information needed to be simplified as users typically don’t have enough time to go through extensive content. As a result, we had to distinguish between essential and non-essential information, which added to the time-consuming nature of the task.


After analysing the user journey, we found that accessing the service was unclear and required multiple clicks to find the ‘How to access this service’ page. We removed this page and integrated the essential information into the sign-in page using tabs in our v2 iteration. Our assumption was that this change simplified and streamlined the process for users.

Start page

We reviewed the GOV guidance documentation and enhanced the clarity of the content on the start page by providing details on the steps needed to gain access.

We also considered the concept of having two separate call-to-action (CTA) buttons on the page - one primary CTA for users who can sign in and a secondary CTA for users who cannot. The objective was to facilitate both sets of users in achieving their goals as quickly as possible with just one click.

Sign in page

Since all information was now easily accessible on the start page there was no longer a requirement to use the tabbed interface on the sign-in page.

Minimalist version

After conducting multiple user-centered design (UCD) and research sessions we determined that the start page still contained an excessive amount of information, and having two call-to-action (CTAs) could be confusing for users. Consequently, we simplified the content on all pages and removed the secondary CTA from the start page. Additionally, we reworked the sign-in link based on user research to be more descriptive and serve two purposes:
1, offering a link to sign in or 2, change the induction tutor, which was previously unavailable to schools, without contacting support

Confirmation page

We enhanced both the content and user interface (UI) on each page of the access journey, with particular attention paid to the confirmation page. While we made the content more explicit in the “What happens next” section, the most significant improvement was the addition of a redacted email to help users understand where the email was being sent, that is, the school’s GIAS (Get Information About Schools) contact. Based on user research, induction tutors found the inclusion of the redacted email to be extremely beneficial, as this information was previously missing.

Outcome and Learnings

Our User Research team conducted moderated usability testing, including semi-structured interviews, and analysed qualitative data through in-service surveys.

The revised start page was well received by users due to its simplicity and the inclusion of a sidebar with clear guidance, making the call-to-action clear. However, the sign-in page caused confusion for some users due to the lack of guidance and unclear expectations of what ‘sign in’ actually meant. Overall however, the pages tested well, and we will be incorporating the UR findings to improve future iterations.

UCD team

  • Dale Moore - Content Designer
  • Darren Courtney - Interaction Designer
  • Elena Bracey - User Researcher
  • Costa Christou - User Researcher
  • Zoe Popperwell - User Researcher