Going guerrilla

Today, Robert Flicker shares his experience of guerrilla testing as part of the User Research phase of a project the Council has been working on with FutureGov to make it easier for residents to pay us.

Robert FlickerI have been working on the FutureGov Payments Project which is looking at ways residents pay the Council for various services. The objective for the first part of the project was to look at what payment services the Council provides, how payment are taken, review statistics and carry out research.

The project group outlined all the tasks, which were then displayed on the project wallboard using post-it notes during the ‘Sprint’ session. The tasks were identified and split into three teams. I was given the data analysis review, guerrilla testing and also helped to carry out the Debt Recovery Team interviews.

Guerrilla testing is not something that I’ve experienced before and initially it was quite daunting at first, but I found it easier than I expected. Ultimately these sessions enable the project group to engage with residents in order to carry out research using prototypes.

We visited Central Library at Bexleyheath and set up a table with a FutureGov laptop with Bexley’s website displayed. We randomly approached five people in the library to undertake two scenarios to test, which did not take longer than 10 minutes. The participants were given a mock-up payment card and a Council Tax reference number. We asked the participants how they would pay their Council Tax bill using a debit card. It was really interesting to see how they navigated the website and processed the payment. We managed to gain key information and feedback from each session. The participants were given chocolate treat at the end of the session.

I feel the guerrilla testing session was well structured as we did not work from a script and the questions we asked were open ended. The environment was laid back and I felt the participants fully engaged with members of the team.

The sessions are quick to undertake, low cost to set up, and it’s a powerful tool that could be used for other projects. The results taken from the guerrilla session were essential for the next phase of this project.

Please come down to the Innovation lab (LG88) and see the Payments project wallboard and review the work undertaken by the project team.