Many areas of business need to reach out and target users who have low levels of digital literacy. This may be due to any of a combination of circumstances such as:
These can also be a key target group for many organisations providing services or benefits to these groups. It can therefore be a challenge to reach out to these groups whilst at the same time offering benefits to the organisation and end users through self-service and Channel Shift opportunities.
We work extensively across sectors such as the NHS and social housing providers where we have developed digital services targeted specifically at low digital literacy users. Often these groups have a higher take up of mobile devices than PCs and we have developed significant learnings about how to use all devices to specifically target users on the device of their choice. Bearing in mind that often people will use a different device to undertake different tasks or the same tasks in different ways. Key to this is to test early and regularly with the end users that you are targeting.
Targeting users with a low level of digital literacy involves active engagement with them at the start of the project analysis and then throughout the design and development process. All too often organisations will build a single interface aimed at all users and not testing with those users with more challenging needs. A successful interface is one that identifies the user groups, how they want to interact with a digital expereince and then meeting the needs of all of those users, experienced and inexperienced.
This can only be undertaken effectively through active engagement with representatives from all of the end user groups and itereative design and development with comprehensive testing at each stage. The testing needs to be undertaken with those specific users you are targeting with low digital skills. A good example of this is the government Carer’s Allowance testing programme.
Projects should always start with stakeholder workshops that include targeted end users. Their views should be actively solicited and incorporated into the design and development plan. Wireframing is then essential to reflect the needs of all users and should be the first point of testing. A variety of techniques can be used such as eye tracking as well as online testing amongst a broad spectrum of users. The learning from this process can then help define the more detailed interactive prototype which is used to test and improve the user journeys to help achieve both their and the organisation’s objectives. The digital product should be tested across all device types that the interactions will take place upon. It is important to bear in mind that the same actions will not take place across all devices. Therefore a key aspect of user interaction and testing should be to define the workflow within and between different devices.
Only after extenesive testing and feedback loops have been undertaken can design commence. Design should help facilitate and not dictate how users engage with a digital experience. The development process should then work within this tested approach which defines a successful interface.
Obviously delivery and launch is the first stage in the implementation of a digital product and on-going testing and refinement based upon user behaviour is essential in ensuring the product continues to meet user needs.
For more help in ensuring your digital project meets all of your targeted user needs please give Clinton, our Head of Digtial Strategy. a call for an informal chat.