Last year, changes were made to Haringey Council’s My Account to improve the service to provide access to more online services and transactions and make it easier to contact the council.
My Account is Haringey Council’s online site which allows account holders to do various things such as view and manage council tax accounts, apply for housing benefit and council tax reduction, or report a street or park problem.
Behind the scenes this meant moving from our old system to a new system capable of supporting the ongoing demands of managing a growing online customer services platform.
To ensure the new transition went smoothly, volunteers from Homes for Haringey’s residents’ panel were offered the chance to take part in user testing exercises.
Normally such a task would take place in council offices, but due to lockdown restrictions, testing was done remotely. This was a bonus for the testing team as it provided a real understanding of some the challenges customers experience when they go online.
Volunteers were sent test data and given access to a test website, so that they could go through some of the My Account functionality; they then reported back using online forms, what they liked or didn’t like.
Online testing participant Eric Brown said:
Personally, I get frustrated when accessing online information which has not been considered with the customer in mind. As a customer, taking part in the testing enables me to be part of a team which hopefully helps improve the customer experience.
The support from the volunteers was invaluable and their feedback led to some of the changes to the system including making instructions clearer and changing the layout of forms to make them more intuitive.
Learning more and becoming aware of issues that affect all residents and being able to test an application process from the start to finish. Hopefully by doing this I can help those people who may struggle with completing application forms.
More user-experience testing is planned to include reviewing Council Tax payments in My Account. Volunteers are needed to improve the online customer experience for all of Haringey’s residents. You can get involved in future user testing by joining our Citizens’ panel at www.haringey.gov.uk/citizenspanel.
Users can sign up for the My Account service here at https://myaccount.haringey.gov.uk.
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