Website usability testing: Childcare

October’s usability testing focused on childcare, we tested parents at a Children’s Centre to complete tasks on our website:

  1. finding local childcare for a given postcode and set days,
  2. finding eligibility criteria for Nursery Education Funding,
  3. and finding details about a toddler group at a specific Children’s Centre.

In all, the users successfully found the information on the website without too much difficulty. The tests did highlight a few areas of improvement which could make the information easier to find.

Outcomes and improvements

Navigation and search

These changes will make the childcare section easier to find from the home page.

  • Add childcare links to the “find it” section on the homepage,
  • Add childcare link Social Care and Health megamenu.
  • Replace “choosing childcare links with “childcare”
  • Check search results for Nursery Education Funding/NEF

Childcare page

The Choosing Childcare page contained far too much information and wasn’t easy to pull out the key information. This content was cleaned up before the session into relevant headers. Some content was moved to sub pages while other content was moved into a pdf.

  • Rename from “Choosing Childcare” to “Childcare”
  • Restructure to following sections:
    • Childcare finder button (link to childcare finder)
    • Types of childcare(listed and linked through to sub page)
    • Help with childcare costs (link to sub page)
    • Inspection reports (linked through to OFSTED)
    • Childcare contracts (link to pdf)
  • Create sub pages and move content for:
    • Help with childcare costs (link to sub page)
    • Inspection reports (linked through to OFSTED)
  • Create PDF’s for the following:
    • Things to look out for when visiting potential childcare providers
    • Questions to ask when visiting nurseries
    • Questions to ask when visiting childminders
  • links/Buttons for childcare types to go through to  relevant section on new childcare types page.

Help with childcare costs (New page)

The content on the help with childcare costs page is far too wordy. the key information proved to be difficult to find even though it was in the first few sentences. This information can be presented in a much better way.

  • Clean up page content (In progress)
  • Key points as bullet points (In progress)
  • Develop NEF eligability checker box at the top of the page (In progress)
  • Move the “Advantages for Parents and Carers” section to the bottom of the page (in progress)

Childcare finder

We received comments that the Childcare Finder was slow and un-responsive. This is currently a system provided by a third party. We have some initial thoughts on how we could potentially create our own childcare finder using WordPress, however this is a longer term development and depends on current contracts and support packages.

  • Explore possibility of developing in-house childcare finder?  (longer term development)

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