Optimising usability & accessibility for a UK government service

Service design audit

At a glance

Full Clarity were brought in to help on a government contract for UK Export Finance (UKEF) to conduct a service design audit across usability, content design, and accessibility. Working alongside the team at Cogworx, our work involved identifying the different users involved in the service, making improvements to the user journeys and plotting this out in a service map. We then made some UX design changes and worked on improvements to the content design and accessibility to help the UKEF pass their assessment.

Public sector
Project length
6 weeks


The Government Digital Service ran a workshop for UKEF and the service would have failed on all aspects of the 18-point beta assessment with Accessibility being a significant issue. New regulations coming into force on 23 September 2020 meant that UKEF’s services must meet accessibility standards or risk breaking the law.

UKEF felt that new content could be designed to help users, and to make the journey more intuitive. In turn, this would reduce error rates and remove the steep learning curve for new users. In terms of accessibility, the service haven’t been optimised to provide a good experience for users with access needs. UKEF wanted to improve the accessibility in the service so that it meets the GDS Service Standard and legal requirements.

UKEF requested an audit the existing service and then for recommendations to be made for content, accessibility and design.

The team

Full Clarity were embedded as part of the Cogworx team to help specifically with the experience design recommendations and mockups. The team was made up of the following expertise.

Ed Kemp
UX director

Ed came in as an external UX director, where he aided the project on user experience best practice and ensured the user interface design was clear.

Douglas Maitland
Service design lead

Doug led the overall project delivery, overseeing both the senior stakeholder relationships and directing the other team members in their specific specialities.

Liz Jordan
Content designer

Liz's role was to make things clear and easy for people to understand and use by communicating the service information in the best way possible.

Michelle Taylor
Front-end developer

Michelle was a front end developer with a background in accessibility, her role was helped meet the WCAG 2.1 guidelines.

Our Approach

Our approach to the project was aligned to the Government’s Digital Service Standard. This standard is the benchmark for public sector service design. As a public-facing service, UKEF must meet the 18-point criteria to pass a GDS assessment.

User needs
User journeys
Evidence-led design
Usability Testing
GDS best practice
Service mapping

Having mapped out the service on the wall, we used user flow mapping software to digitise the service structure enabling us to iterate as required.

The results

After mapping out the service, auditing the existing content and design to identity potential issues, we felt confident giving out recommendations. The outcome deliverable at the end of the engagement was a report containing UX, content design, and accessibility recommendations.


Full Clarity joined us for an engagement with UK Export Finance in auditing an existing government service. Full Clarity clearly have a lot of experience in designing a diverse range of systems and applications and were able to bring fresh ideas to the table. Their team is senior and experienced and we’re able to effectively communicate with senior stakeholders helping to build relationships and confidence with clients.

Douglas Maitland Service Design Lead, Cogworx
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West Street
Farnham, Surrey

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