GovWire

Buy a personalised registration number alpha assessment report

Government Digital Service

January 24
12:02 2020

From: Government Digital Service
Assessment date: 21/11/2019
Stage: Alpha
Result: Met
Service provider: Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)

Service description

This service will allow users to buy Vehicle Registration Numbers (VRNs) from DVLA. When a customer purchases a VRN they purchase the rights to display the VRN on a vehicle. This allows them to personalise the license plate of the vehicle that they drive.

Service users

Users range from:

  • commercial customers who purchase registration numbers to sell third parties
  • private individuals who own vehicles and wish to personalise their vehicle by displaying a VRN that is relevant to them
  • private individuals who purchase registration numbers to give as gifts to family members and friends for special occasions
  • business owners who purchase registration numbers to display on their work vehicles to promote their businesses.

Users are a range of ages with various digital abilities.

1. Understand user needs

Decision

The service met point 1 of the Standard.

What the team has done well

The panel was impressed that:

  • the team has a good understanding of the diversity of users of their service, and their various needs and drivers
  • the team has a good awareness of the use of and pain points in the current service, both from qualitative research and quantitative analysis of the current performance. The panel was particularly impressed that the team had analysed the terminology used in support calls to inform content decisions
  • the team has a comprehensive understanding of the user needs in the end-to-end journey, including what happens after the purchase has been made
  • the team is using insights from user research to change wider business processes strategy, beyond just their service.

2. Do ongoing user research

Decision

The service met point 2 of the Standard.

What the team has done well

The panel was impressed that:

  • the team has carried out research with a wide variety of users and stakeholders, including citizens, commercial users, and operational staff from interviews to usability testing and contextual research at auctions across the country
  • the team has tested the end-to-end service, learning about one-off purchases, as well as accounts, visibility of auctions, and join up with next steps to put a registration number on a vehicle
  • the team can explain how user research findings have informed the design of the service and prioritisation of work
  • the team has done research with people with access needs, they are investigating the need and use of assistive digital support and alternative channels, and have scheduled their accessibility audit
  • the wider team has been involved in the research and has attended sessions.

3. Have a multidisciplinary team

Decision

The service met point 3 of the Standard.

What the team has done well

The panel was impressed that:

  • an empowered multi-disciplinary team is in place, who clearly work well together
  • a plan is in place to start the handover from contractor to permanent staff during the Beta phase
  • although the team works across other projects, three days a week are dedicated to the service during which time they are co-located.

What the team need to explore

Before their next assessment, the team needs to:

  • continue to ensure they are not over-reliant on contractors by increasing the availability of permanent staff and conducting effective knowledge and skills transfer
  • ensure that there are plans in place to allow them to fully support the Beta delivery whilst not working on the project full time and that contingencies are in place should other work need to take priority at any given time. The team are currently dedicating three days a week to working on the service.

4. Use agile methods

Decision

The service met point 4 of the Standard.

What the team has done well

The panel was impressed that:

  • the team shows a good understanding of agile tools and techniques. They follow agile ceremonies and use online tools to share information
  • the importance of user research is understood with all team members attending user research sessions
  • governance is well defined with a clear escalation process in place
  • the team has defined the scope of their Private Beta and have an evidence-based plan for running it alongside their current service so as to neither advantage or disadvantage Private Beta users competing to purchase registrations.

5. Iterate and improve frequently

Decision

The service met point 5 of the Standard.

What the team has done well

The panel was impressed that:

  • the team is iterating and testing the design of the search results page
  • the team is iterating and testing different approaches to search, using different sort and filter methods, including price, style and relevance
  • the team is testing and iterating different approaches to meeting the needs of users. The team improving their approach to meeting the needs of registration number dealers, including the use of accounts where necessary
  • the team is testing and iterating different approaches to help users navigate to this new service, online auctions, live auctions, and dealers
  • the team is testing and iterating different orders of questions, to reduce the likelihood of dead ends or wasting users time
  • the team is collaborating with a content designer to iterate the placement of the privacy policy
  • the team is using evidence from user research to try and improve the policy
  • the team iterated the name of the service based on feedback.

6. Evaluate tools and systems

Decision

The service met point 6 of the Standard.

What the team has done well

The panel was impressed that:

  • the architectural patterns and technology choices, frameworks and versions demonstrate a comprehensive modern approach to the development of software. With the use of the AWS cloud platform and investigation of services therein there is a clear understanding and adoption of cloud based (managed) services
  • the team acknowledges the Private Beta stage will present a number of technical challenges around co-existence with the existing platform and integration
  • the search component is commendable and as a key part of the system it was clearly demonstrated that engineering effort has been put into optimising and exploring outputs in this area
  • the team has considered progressive enhancement and incorporated components and patterns from the GOV.UK Design System, engaging with that community
  • the team has carried out some technical spikes for integration and presented these to architectural governance groups within the DVLA
  • the team understands the limitations of their legacy systems, and collaboratively plan to improve the service.

What the team needs to explore

Before their next assessment, the team needs to:

  • consider data structures that might enable migration away from legacy technology. For example, asking for the name of the person they are buying a registration number, as opposed to splitting First and Last Name, may limit the ability for this to be done in a more automated way going forwards.

7. Understand security and privacy issues

Decision

The service met point 7 of the Standard.

What the team has done well

The panel was impressed that:

  • the team is starting to look at the risk of fraud when buying a registration number for someone else
  • the team is aware of some of the security challenges with the existing service

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