Identify your users

Minimum you need to do

Identify current and prospective users of your service. Use existing research to understand their needs and behaviours. 

Who are your users?

Think about all your users, such as: 

  • everyone who needs to use the service 
  • people with diverse needs based on factors like age, location, language and ability 
  • people who do not currently use digital services or need help to do so 
  • people in government who deliver the service. 

Identifying your users

There’s not one right way to find out who your users are. Think about identifying them using things like: 

  • data analytics of your current service, if you’re improving a service 
  • data analytics of similar services, if you’re designing a new service 
  • brainstorming with the delivery or product units in your agency 
  • sending out an online survey to your mailing list 
  • speaking to agencies delivering similar services  
  • exploring any relevant data on the data.nsw website. 

What you need to find out 

Once you have a good idea of who your users are, think about whether existing research or data will answer these questions. For example: 

  • why they need the service  
  • what needs the service meets for them 
  • their motivations and contexts 
  • how they’re currently interacting with your service 
  • where their pain points are in how they do things currently. 

Using existing research and data

A good way to start exploring these questions is by using any existing research and data. For example:  

  • data.nsw web surveys 
  • web analytics 
  • your agency’s social media channels 
  • research reports
  • surveys
  • interviews
  • ethnography (cultural immersion)
  • data analysis

As well as looking at digital interactions, you should research any of their non-digital experiences such as by phone, post and face to face. 

If you need to know more, consider doing in-depth research with your users. Do a cost-benefit analysis. Find out whether the benefit to the public of doing user research outweighs any risks. This analysis can be formal or informal. 

The diversity of your user research participants should be in proportion to your budget and the amount of people using your service. 

Resources 

How to show you’ve met this identify user need 

You’ve made a record of: 

  • your likely users

  • how you decided the types of users to research

  • your list of research questions  

  • your rationale for doing desktop research versus testing with users. 

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